Norfolk Island - The Website
HomeVirtual TourVisitor InformationBefore ColonizationSettlementsGovernment

The Crankmill

The Crankmill was built as a granary in 1827, and was converted in 1835 to serve as barracks for married soldiers and their families. In 1837 a cranking mechanism, hoppers and grindstones were installed for grinding maize. The equipment was worked by 100 convicts in chains as a form of punishment. In 1844 it was written:

"The labour appears to be dreadfully severe; the yells and screams of the unfortunate criminals as they heave at the cumbersome engine almost induces a belief that the spectator is listening to the cries of lost souls."

The Crankmill

The equipment was to be replaced by a human-powered treadmill, but in 1856 the building was gutted by fire, and the treadmill idea was abandoned.

Copyright © 1996 Your Privacy