Now part of the University of Buckingham, The Tanlaw Mill was once known as Town Mill. This ancient mill is mentioned in the Doomsday Book. The Doomsday Book is a record of a great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 by order of King William the Conqueror. What is a watermill? Well, a watermill is one of the first sources of power not generated by man. It is designed to mass grind crops into ingredients like flour.

Do you know how a watermill works? A watermill and its machinery are powered by the force of gravity, water pours over the big wheel, which causes it to turn. This then drives the mechanical milling process. Each of the small communities that made up Buckingham by the 1500s had its own mill. Castle Mill served Prebend, Town (Tanlaw) Mill served Buckingham and, Bourton Mill served Bourton. It was usual for local families to take their home-grown crops to the mill to be processed into the flour so they could make their own food.

If you explore this area a bit further you can see old millstones which have been used to build the weir upstream of Tanlaw Mill, known as the Flosh. The weir was built to maintain water levels in the mill stream. The mill stream was created to direct a water supply from the river to the mill.

The first industrial revolution began with the science of using water and steam to power and mechanise production. A mill machine is a product of human intelligence, science and robotics.

Just for fun: What is a robot’s favourite snack? Micro-chips!