Past Remains

A view of yesterday from today

Currier Mill, Colyton, Devon

 

The trade of currying was the next step after tanning in the early leather industry. This was a necessary process of stretching and finishing tanned leather in order to render it supple and strong for usage by a saddler or cobbler. In fact, Curriers were often also the local shoemaker. Appropriately, the Tannery is a short distance further along the same lane.

The name Currier is believed to be taken from the Latin term 'corium', which is the central layer between the outer epidermis and the flesh underneath. The way this layer is made up dictates the difference in texture between leathers. Traditionally, animal skins were cured by treating them with animal fat, which was then followed by leaving them stretched out to dry, either in the sun or before a fire.

 

Instead of windows there are louvres fitted all around the upper storey. These could be opened or closed to control the air flow, ensuring good circulation for drying the leathers. 

 

A bricked-up door in the wall, above, and below is another door.

Looking through the gap in the door above, another old building can be seen across the courtyard (below). This was possibly another part of the operation or maybe the living accomodation for the owners. Both buildings are now in the grounds of a private residence.

And, below is attached this twirly gate. The style is of a more contemporary era, and I don't know what it was or is used for, but a delightful addition nonetheless.

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