Watermill, currently serving as a residential building, Suchanówko
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

Watermill, currently serving as a residential building

Suchanówko

photo

The building is a unique example of a 19th-century half-timbered rural watermill which has attained its current architectural form in two distinct stages. Despite the passage of time, the building retains its original timber-framed wall structure as well as parts of the period window and door joinery.

History

The watermill was erected in 1827 and initially remained the property of a miller named Militz. It was designed as a single-storey structure with two water wheels (an undershot and an overshot one) and two pairs of millstones. In the late 19th century, the watermill was acquired by the Bahrdt family. In 1912, the entire building underwent a redesign, receiving an additional storey; the machinery of the watermill was modified and a water turbine was installed. During the interwar period, the mill was fitted with an electrical motor as well as roller mills and scrubbing devices.

After World War 2, the mill was restarted on 15.08.1945 by Józef Paczkowski. From 1950 onwards, the building was in private hands and remained in operation for six more years. Today, both the mill and the surrounding farmyard remain private property and serves both residential and storage functions.

Description

The watermill is located in the south-western part of the village of Suchanówko (about 1 kilometre from the church), near a country road leading through the fields. The mill rises above the northern bank of the Rzeczyca river. The mill and its annexes are accompanied by a cowshed and a small pigsty; the site of the now-vanished barn is occupied by a garage.

The building’s design does not subscribe to any particular architectural style; it was constructed using the traditional timber-framing technique, its functional layout - combining the residential and manufacturing functions under a single roof - likewise being a typical solution.

The silhouette of the watermill underwent a number of transformation throughout the ages. Initially designed as a single-storey structure with a gable roof and a basement underneath parts of its structure, the mill was redesigned in 1912 and became predominantly a two-storey building covered with a low roof of the gable type, with a front wall dormer. The mill was built on a rectangular floor plan and measures 20.5 by 10 metres; its front faces the north-west. The entrances into the building are positioned in the longer of its façades. The mill chamber features a wooden ceiling with exposed beams, while the residential section of the building comes equipped with beamed ceilings featuring a clay plaster finish. The basement features brick vaulted ceilings of the barrel type. The roof truss consists of rafters and purlins, supported by queen posts. The roofs are covered with overlapping roof tiles as well as with asphalt roofing felt.

The peripheral walls feature a timber-framed structure with brick infills covered with plaster; the gables are clad with weatherboards. The timber frame is made of oakwood and pinewood and consists of a regular arrangement of vertical posts bound together by horizontal beams (lintels) on two levels, with second-storey diagonal braces providing additional reinforcement. The basement walls are made of stone.

All of the façades are accentuated by the exposed, dark timber frame which provides a stark contrast against the white infills. The front façade follows an asymmetrical layout, six-axial on the ground floor level and four-axial on the first floor level (part of the building is a single-storey structure); additional notable features include the gable clad with weatherboards as well as a panel upon which the building’s date of construction is displayed. The gable-end façades follow a two-storey, single-axial or two-axial layout (depending on the level), the upper parts of their timber-framed walls being covered with weatherboards.

The interior retains the original layout from the period of the 1912 redesign, with the western, utility section positioned alongside the residential eastern part of the building. The mill chamber is a single, open space reaching all the way from the basement level to the attic, while the residential part of the building follows a two-bay layout (ground floor) and a three-bay layout (first floor). The original fixtures and fittings include the double entrance door with transom light and decorative panels as well as the four-light period wooden windows; some of them are of the casement type, with two pairs of casements hinged at the sides, one pair opening inward, the other swinging outward (Polish windows), whereas others are of the solid-frame, single-rebate casement type.

None of the original milling machinery has survived to the present day.

The structure can be viewed from the outside. Entering the farm and exploring the interior of the building is only possible by arrangement with the owner.

compiled by Waldemar Witek, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Szczecin, 03-11-2014.

Bibliography

  • Kulesza-Szerniewicz E., Szkic do przewodnika po zabytkach techniki woj. zachodnio-pomorskiego, [in:] Atrakcyjność turystyczna mostów zwodzonych. Międzynarodowe seminarium Dziedzictwo Techniki dla Przyszłości, M. Opęchowski (ed.), Szczecin 2004, pp. 159-174.
  • Witek W., Młyny wodne i wiatraki w krajobrazie kulturowym Pomorza Zachodniego - („Płyń wodo, wiej wietrze”), Vol. IV, B. Andziak (ed.), Siemczyno 2014, pp. 55-70.

General information

  • Type: mill
  • Chronology: 1 poł. XIX w. - 1 poł. XX w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Suchanówko 10
  • Location: Voivodeship zachodniopomorskie, district stargardzki, commune Suchań - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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