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There were over 40 mills along the Upper Dodder in the 19th century. They were an important source of employment for the local people. Most of them were closed by the end of the 19th century because it was cheaper to import flour, calico,paper etc. from other countries. The use of electric power meant that mills no longer had to be near a water supply.

How the Water-mill Worked.

Water was used to power the machinery in the mill. Whether paper, flour or calico was being made the technology in harnessing the water was the same.
The water-mill was built beside a stream or river. The water-wheel was a large wooden wheel with paddles. It was attached to the outside of the mill building by a shaft that went through the wall into the mill.
Water flowed from the mill pond through a sluice gate which regulated its speed. The force of the water flowing through the mill-race turned the mill-wheel. This moved the shaft which turned the grinding stone that ground wheat into flour or operated other machinery inside the mill.

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