ORIGINAL mill wheel casting patterns used at Dulverton Laundry have been discovered.

A recent visit by Dr Matt Edgeworth, from Leicester University, to see the Dulverton Leat and Weir watermill landscape led to the discovery of the patterns used at the laundery when it was a working mill.

Now these patterns will be used to calculate the approximate size and horsepower of the waterwheel.

“The patterns would have been pressed into sand to make moulds into which molten cast iron was poured to make gearwheels attached to the waterwheel itself,” explained Dr Edgeworth.

“When the casting was finished the patterns would have been put somewhere safe so that they could be used again to make spare parts if required.

“In this case they were put in the roof space where we found them some 200 or 300 years later.

“Clearly Dulverton was a major industrial town for a significant period of time before its renaissance as a sporting and tourist town in the late 1800s.”

The Dulverton watermill landscape will feature in an academic paper to be published in Indianapolis in the US later this year.

Dr Edgeworth and Dulverton Leat and Weir Group will shortly be working on an academic article to be published in British Archaeology.

Dulverton Laundry owner Sue Pugsley said: “Some of my staff told me that they had seen some old looking cog wheels in the roof space, but I had never been up there to look.

“All of us were thrilled when Dr Edgeworth and members of the Dulverton Leat and Weir Group lowered the patterns down into the factory through an access hatch. It’s a real piece of Dulverton history.”