image Smeaton J, IM007057
Image number: RS.6267
Credit: © The Royal Society
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Water mill, Scrooby




John Smeaton (1724-1792, British), Civil engineer

Object type



width (drawing): 405mm
height (drawing): 330mm



Design for the waterwheel and conduit for Scrooby mill, near Doncaster, Nottinghamshire. Elevation of wheel and shuttle, 1:12 scale. From Smeaton volume 1, fol. 91.

Scrooby Mill lies on the old course of the river Ryton which was diverted in the 1960s. The original mill building was constructed in the 17th century.

Object history

The Royal Society John Smeaton collection consists of 6 volumes of his working drawings.

The drawings (with supplementary manuscripts and engravings) were classified by mechanical engineer, John Farey (1791-1851) under the following 6 headings: I. Windmills and watermills for grinding corn; II. Mills for various purposes and machines for raising water; III. Fire engines for raising water; IV. Bridges and Buildings; V. Canal works, sluices, and harbours; VI. Canals and river navigations.

Smeaton made all his drawings himself. Once more established he employed a draughtsman, but still continued to draw the lines of all his drawings to the proper scale in pencil on cartridge paper which he called sketches. Fair copies of the sketches were then made on drawing paper by the draughtsman, William Jessop or his successor Henry Eastburn, and Smeaton's daughters frequently helped in the shadowing and finishing in indian ink.

Associated place

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