1: The Watermill

Davinde Vandmølle i Den Fynske Landsby, efterår

Davinde Vandmølles stuehus.

Bagsiden af Davinde Vandmølles stuehus med møllehjulet.

Vinter ved Davinde vandmølle i Den Fynske Landsby.

Vinterbillede fra davinde vandmølle i Den Fynske Landsby

Davinde Vandmølle i Davinde, før nedtagning og flytning til Den Fynske Landsby.

Davinde Vandmølle efter genopførelse i Den Fynske landsby.


The watermill from the village Davinde (no. 1) is a typical Funen watermill, representing the 200 to 300 watermills which have characterised the Funen landscape since the Early Middle Ages.

Davinde Watermill was owned by the manor of Sanderumgård from 1585 until, in 1829, the freehold was purchased by the sitting copyholder. The people who lived at Davinde Watermill were wealthy. Their income came from milling as everyone who wanted grain ground into flour paid a fixed proportion (1/18) of their grain in dues to the miller. Peter Brochmann, who was copyholder at the watermill from 1735, was rich enough to establish a trust of 125 rigsdaler, the interest from which, at Christmas and Easter, was to be given to five poor people in the parish. And when his granddaughter, Marie Cathrine Jacobsdatter, was to be married in 1800, the family could afford to hold the wedding with 100 guests at the watermill, as well as a considerable dowry. The good times continued under the first freehold miller, Johan Petersen, who instigated the great rebuilding programme, but from the 1890s recession set in. The free mill trade led to greater competition and the “Kornsalgstid” was followed by a time of the co-operative movement and its greater focus on livestock farming. Both of these factors could have influenced the milling business. Davinde Watermill had six different owners between 1892 and 1942 – an indication that it was difficult to make ends meet.

Davinde Watermill is mentioned in written sources as early as 1585. The present buildings are, however, much later and a more detailed building history is only known from 1800, from when the first fire insurance assessment is preserved. In 1800, a watermill is mentioned, comprising four wings. The dwelling house at that time constituted two rooms, three cellars, a scullery and a mill house and it also had a bake-oven and two chimneys. This building complex was completely renewed between 1832 and 1860. First, a new mill was built, and in 1841 a new dwelling house was added. It was on two floors with a parlour, guest room, living room, larder, maid's room and entrance hall with floorboards and a kitchen with a brick floor. On the lower floor, there was a scullery with an oven, beer cellar and a warehouse. Subsequently, the other wings were rebuilt or altered, and in 1860 a totally new mill stood completed. In 1887, miller Erik Otto Petersen built a small windmill beside the watermill. However, his customer base was apparently insufficient, because the windmill was demolished again prior to 1920.

Davinde Watermill has a timber-framed construction and the buildings reveal that it was built in a time of economic surplus. The timber-framing is solid and there was abundant timber available. The walls built of fired brick also represent a considerable value. This is consistent with the fact that the buildings are from the “Kornsalgstid” (literally ”Age of Grain Sales”, characterised by good harvests and high grain prices. The roof is of reed, with a ridge secured using kragetrær - pairs of heavy timbers hinged together.
Mill technology The millwork lies in the mill's cellar. Originally, it had a rye mill, a groat mill and a huller, and a few years after construction this was expanded with a bolter. The millwork was driven by an overshot wheel of 6 alen (c. 3.75 m). Davinde Watermill was a so-called “grass mill”. The water level in the mill pond, which was fed by the village stream, was so low in summer that the pond area provided grazing for the village's animals.