The "Collse Watermolen" in Eindhoven

Collse Molen
View from the north, before reinstallation of the second waterwheel.

Introduction
The Municipality of Eindhoven is the proud owner of the 'Collse watermolen'.
In 1999 the second waterwheel of the watermill was restored and put back in service, which returned the mill to its original appearance.
The second waterwheel originally drove the oilpresser and the City Council has now agreed to donate the money needed to restore the oilpresser itself. Preparations for the restoration are being made in close co-operation with the foundation 'The Mills of Eindhoven'.


The Collse Watermolen, with two wheels and the original red roof. ©
Photo: Norbert van Eekeren, Nuenen, feb. 2007
View from the south.

A group of volunteers, called 'Friends of the Collse Watermolen' are partially responsible for bringing the centuries-old monument to the people's attention. The Friends of the Collse Watermolen are currently developing an educational programme for primary schools.

Three members of the group are qualified millers. Every Saturday morning they operate the corn/flour mill. Visitors are welcome to see the mill in action. The produce of this craft can also be purchased.

On other days the mill is open to the public by appointment only. Call miller Fer de Vries: 040 281 78 18 or send an
For further information about the mill, contact the keeper/miller Edwin van Bussel (after 6 o'clock pm): 040 281 21 46; e-mail.

History
The Collse Watermolen was built by monks in the thirteenth century. Eventually the watermill came into the feudal possession of the Duke of Brabant.
Until the French came into control of Brabant in the late 18th century the mill was a "compulsion-mill". The residents of a certain area were compelled by their overlords to have their grain ground by a specific mill.

The left millhouse is a cornmill and the right millhouse an oilmill. The oilpress installation disappeared in the 1920s.
In 1997 a European subsidy was granted for the reconstruction of the oil millhouse.

Function
For centuries the watermill had a double function.
The former oilmill pressed oil from rapeseed until the beginning of the 20th century. The rapeseed oil was used for lighting and baking potatoes.
The cornmill ground fodder grain like barley, oats and rye. In the 1950s the local farmers stopped growing their own grain and the mill lost its function and stopped working.
Now every Saturday morning the mill is put into operation by volunteers for the grinding of wheat for professional and home bakers.

Water power
The watermill lies on a little river, which rises at the Belgian border. The miller has the right to raise the waterlevel. The fall (difference of waterheight at the sluice) is about 1 m. By opening the millsluice the raised water sets the waterwheel in motion.

Technology
The waterwheel drives gearwheels constructed of wood. The cogs are made of tropical wood greased with beeswax.
A set of millstones consists of a rolling topstone and a fixed bottomstone. A millstone weighs about 1500 kg. The grinding capacity of a set of millstones is 300 kg per hour.
A hoist is used to haul the sacks of grain up into the loft. The grain is fed from a storage bin through a shaking bin to the millstones.


The gearing in the cornmill.

Spoorwiel en rondsel
Foto 2002 ©

The illustration below shows how the oilmill could be driven.


The gearing in an oilmill.

model_ed_hawksley_2009
Model of the oilmill by Ed Hawksley, UK, 2009. ©

Vincent van Gogh
The watermill was painted by Vincent van Gogh in 1884.
After the departure of his friend Van Rappard, Van Gogh wrote to him about working in a watermill.
"This one is similar to the other watermills we visited together, but with two red roofs and poplars around it".
According to experts the painting is a particularly fine specimen as far as colour and composition are concerned. While making this painting Vincent van Gogh used warm landscape colours for the first time.
Vincent van Gogh left for Antwerp in 1885 and then went on to Paris.
The painting is part of an American private collection.


Painting of the mill by Van Gogh, 1884. ©

Air view

Luchtfoto klein
Air view. © Hans Weesenaar.
Click for larger picture. ( 285 kB )

Times open:
Each saturday morning the mill is working from 9:30 tot 12:30 and may be visited by the public.

Address
Collseweg 3.

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