Chasing Mills – part one

LOST TO HISTORY: An artist’s impression of Gradwell’s Mill in Grahamstown, which no longer exists

Serendipity with Bev Young

ONE of the most vital lifesaving entities in the years of the early settlers, was a functioning corn mill.

Laborious and backbreaking to build, they nonetheless featured as the means to survival. All the notable mills were water driven.

By 1873 there were 125 mills operating in the Eastern Cape. However, the advent of the roller mill put an end to the old processes using rotating millstones. The sound of water falling out of a creaking wheel, or the sight of a picturesque windmill on the skyline is lost to our present way of life.

Over time, we will show you as many of these mills, extant and, latent, as have been affirmed.

The one featured this week, Gradwell’s Mill, was once one of eight mills in Grahamstown, none of which remain.


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