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one of a pair of heavy flat disc-shaped stones that are rotated one against the other to grind grain
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a round, dressed natural or artificial stone; the working part of a set of millstones, which hulls glumaceous crops and mills grain and other materials. Millstones working in pairs were widespread in the third and fourth centuries B.C.; prior to that grain was ground in mortars. Millstones were originally turned by humans or animals, but when they became larger in size they came to be powered by water and wind.

Millstones are made of one or several pieces (natural) or small particles (artificial) of rock. Hard types of rock such as quartzite (the best), sandstone, and granite are used for natural millstones; artificial millstones are made of crushed flint, quartzite, and emery or a mixture of emery and flint, cemented together by magnesium chloride or caustic magne-site. On their working surfaces millstones have grooves, the edges of which are the cutting parts. Millstones with sharp edges split grain particles more rapidly.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The eight bedroom property with 5.3 acres is priced at pounds 1.7 million; First floor living space with the old mill stones intact; Inside the third floor master suite
The grinding room is a mass of hundreds of whirring mill stones and the impression is of bright green everywhere.
Children will be able to mill their own flour by hand using quern stones, miniature versions of the large mill stones.
Windmills had similar reassuring rhythms - swishing sails, clunking wooden machinery and grinding mill stones.
Gates from churches, mill stones, mounting blocks, telephone boxes or a 17th century well head could all become focuses of interest in more adventurous landscapes while more tentative decorators might prefer a wrought iron herb garden surround at just pounds 50-pounds 80.
The two-and-a-half tonne mill stones are encased in a round, pine box and rather than water or wind, electricity is used to power the operation.
They only mill one type of grain - wheat - at the moment but Dennis has spent some painstaking years renovating another of the mill stones so he is soon hoping to start grinding oats.
Bread will be baked for the first time in the restored bakehouse using the Victorian bread oven while on Sunday the waterwheel and mill stones will be used to produce stoneground flour.
Some of the old mill stones have even been kept as features in the garden; one has the date 1801 inscribed on it.
Visitors to the open days this Sunday and August 27 can explore the mill at their own pace, watch the wheat being milled into flour using water power and mill stones in the traditional manner, or wander around the Miller's Garden, the Mill Meadow Nature Trail or the Woodland Walk.
"My allocation of over 190 sites to be recorded included docks, churches, schools, farmhouses, factories, mill stones, gates and graves as well, of course, as a very large number of private houses from the Albert Dock to Kirkby.
The hamlet is believed to be haunted by the ghost of a corn mill worker who was crushed to death by two mill stones in about 1870.