|Discharging grain into lighters at the Royal Victoria Dock. © NMM|
The milling of grain to obtain flour for bread and other uses has changed dramatically in recent centuries.
For thousands of years, people milled small amounts of grain for their own use. First, watermills then windmills were used to mill larger amounts for whole villages.
|The Spillers Millennium Mills after closure. © NMM|
In modern times, steam power increased the scale of milling, and mills as big as factories could produce flour for whole cities.
With London dependent on grain imported by sea, the windmills that once surrounded the city gave way to larger mills based on the river and then to giant mills at the docks.