Friday, 6 December 2013

Winding gear no more

For many years it had been assumed that the four drums with cog wheels were part of an elaborate winding system for pulling Peggy into the cellar. We now believe this not to be true. There are in fact anchorage points for blocks and tackle set into the cellar floor at the back of the room, and its far more likely these were what Quayle’s men used to pull the boat from the sea to the cellar.

Paul Drury is of the opinion that the drums are more probably parts salvaged from George Quayle’s flax mill, which had been spectacularly successful before banking and political interests came to dominate his public life. In 1793 George was awarded a Silver Medal by the Royal Society in London for an invention designed to make the flow of water to a mill wheel more even, regardless of how much water was held in the feed reservoir. Here’s a picture of the winning design.

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