Roots of a Living Tree

From High Salvington Mill Trust

The story of the living tree

Story from pamphlet.
Story from pamphlet

The Bristol-published pamphlet sold by a previous proprietor of the mill contains a story that the miller had employed work-men to dig underneath the post of the mill. According to the story, they had dug down twelve feet to find that the post was still attached to massive roots, suggesting that the post had been trimmed from of a living tree, in situ. At the time, the credibility of this, nonsensical, story was enhanced by the raised level of the roundhouse floor which concealed the base of the post.

According to the pamphlet, "To the surprise of the diggers, 12 feet below the level of the ground, instead of coming to the end of the post, great roots were found stopping further progress, showing that a living oak had been trimmed and made use of as it stood. In the lower storehouse - now a tea-room - the diameter of the post is over 4ft, and 12ft down it was estimated as well over 6ft diameter. There are very few instances of a mill having been built round a growing tree. No wonder the gales that sweep over the Downs have been powerless to hurt Salvington Mill, even though they have had two centuries in which to measure their strength against it."