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By John Langdon

The past due medieval English milling epitomizes probably the most vital technical achievements of early societies: the exploitation of wind, water and muscle energy for augmenting human endeavours. via a automated research of the quantity and diversity of generators in England from 1300 to 1540, in addition to the expertise, practices and team of workers maintaining them, Langdon finds the structural evolution of the milling undefined, highlighting either its accomplishments and its barriers. even though it makes a speciality of England through the later center a long time, the book's cutting edge methodologies and unique findings will provide valuable comparative fabric for all students investigating pre-industrial societies. It additionally bargains a hard new viewpoint at the later heart a long time as a time of swap, as well as supplying lovers of outdated applied sciences in most cases with a wealth of aspect approximately essentially the most recognizable and enduring positive aspects of medieval society.

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Extra resources for Mills in the Medieval Economy: England 1300-1540 (Great Britain & Ireland)

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Windmills recorded in inquisitions post mortem, ‒ The Milling Industry about   to estimate the number of watermills and windmills in England about  by comparing the number of mills on manors represented both in Domesday and in documents around . ⁸ Since then, I have performed a more broad-ranging comparison geographically. Using the data from the  manors providing the base for the mill demography in Chapter , I was able to make—with reasonable credibility—the comparison between the number of mills on  manors in the early fourteenth century with the number of mills on these same  manors in .

This is a figure that should probably be considered a minimum, since many mills were not recorded for the far north, which was not included in the survey. g. Reynolds, Hundred Men, –. ² N. A. F. Smith, ‘Origins’, esp. –. ³ Needham, Science and Civilisation, esp. vol. iv/; see also Reynolds, Hundred Men, –. ⁴ Lewis, ‘Greeks’.  displays over  windmills. For the raw data from the inquisition post mortem sample and discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of these inquisitions as a source, see Langdon, ‘Lordship’, – (tables  and ) and –.

As can be seen, for reasons to be discussed later, the distribution of windmills was not as extensive as that of watermills. .          As to the number of watermills and windmills in England at the beginning of the fourteenth century, we are fortunate to have the Domesday Book as a base. The number of mills (all powered by water) recorded in , as calculated by H. C. ⁶ This is a figure that should probably be considered a minimum, since many mills were not recorded for the far north, which was not included in the survey.

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