Thanks Ken for posting thatlink on the unearthing of the tide mill in your area. It certainly is a spectacular find, and will no doubt rewrite the history books that deal with that subject a little bit for sure.--And we think the tide mills are a modern contrivance!
It does boggle your mind how the historic millwrighting methods of long ago were developed to such a high degree.
By this I mean even today with all our so called equipment and knowledge, and education, if anyone of us were asked to create such machine without the aid of any of our modern tools of the trade, and just given man power, and axes and a few other tools to come up with this finished tide mill, it would be an extraordinary effort.
I had similar requests to construct timberframe structures using only the tools that were availble at the period of construction, and I am going to tell you that every step had to be thought out carefully, and a so called (new\old) solution had to be sought after and found to carry on.
One thing that I will say about refraining from using modern methods, or cutting corners is that you arrive in the end with a finished product that looks very historically correct.