Mosterts Mill

Mostert's Mill was built in 1796, on the farm - Welgelegen, in Cape Town South Africa, then the property of Gysbert van Reenen. The mill was used to grind wheat into wholewheat meal. Eventually the mill fell into disrepair. It was restored in 1935 but again the mill deteriorated during the war years but in 1993 the Friends of Mostert's Mill was formed and the second renovation completed by 1996.

The base of the mill is a circular masonry wall, The lower 2.25 metres are a random stone construction with unbaked bricks around the openings and up to the top of the wall, then plastered and whitewashed.  Around the mill is a circular level stone platform. The Mill is a ‘'bovenkruier (Dutch word) that means that the cap, together with the sails, windshaft and brake-wheel, are turned to bring the sails into the wind. The base remains stationary. The Mill is also a “buitenkruier" that means that the winding of the mill takes place outside the mill, not inside the cap. The machinery is made almost entirely of wood. The transmission of power from sails to stones is direct as there is no mechanism for uncoupling the Quant and when the sails turn, the runner stone turns too. The machinery of the mill is described in detail in Mostert's Mill, Cape Town, by James Walton.

Many thanks to the Friends of Mostert’s mill and in particular Paul Jaques, Architect and part time miller for supplying all of the photos and site dimensions needed to produce these drawings at a distance of 7893 miles from door to door

Where theres a will there is a way!

equip2RS equip3RS

At some point in time the 1st floor stair was re-orietated. The two images above show the original position before it was turned and those at the top of the page show the current position


In South Africa the threshing floor was was an essential part of the farmstead. The floor had either a base of flat stones or of level earth which was covered by ‘Ant Heap’ or a mixture of clay and this was moistened and trampled by Oxen before being levelled and smoothed. Prior to threshing the floor was smeared with diluted cow dung to bind the surface and children were strictly forbidden from playing on such a temptingly smooth playground. Metal implements and tools were never used on the threshing floor for fear of damaging the surface so all implements were made of wood.
From Water-mills, Windmills and Horse mills of South Africa by James Walton


An imaginary sunset


Click on the image to visit the Mosterts mill site and also find out more about the ‘Friends of Mosterts Mill’


besides Pauls involvement in the restoration and running of Mosterts mill he has spent a considerable amount of time researching and recording Glencairn water mill which is shown on another page. Click the image to open it