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The Mill and Möllegården

The mill and the old miller’s residence at Möllegården are important culture bearers in Science Village, their presence conveying the sites previous status as a detached agrarian environment, as well as providing evidence of how millers lived and worked. For almost three hundred years, the mill was the natural meeting place for farmers coming to have their cereals ground.

Möllegården, the miller’s residence, is around 100 years old and originally consisted of the house on Odarslövsvägen and the adjacent outbuilding, strategically positioned at a sheltered angle in the garden. The outbuildings have been turned into permanent structures and linked to the main dwelling in the intervening years to meet changing needs. The current footprint of the house is essentially the same as it was in the 1950s.

The mill’s history stretches far back to a time when Skåne was still Danish. It is thought to have been built in 1647 on the Hviderups estate. In 1869 the mill was sold to the Svenstorps estate and moved to its current location in Odarslöv. The Svenstorps estate employed a miller to operate the mill and this arrangement continued until 1877. The mill was then leased to a Dane, Jakob Henrik Bauer. In 1896 the mill was sold to Lars Nilsson who in turn sold it to Daniel Andersson in 1907. Andersson and his wife ran the mill until 1919, when Daniel passed away. Edvard Johansson then took over as miller. Despite stiff competition from machine-driven mills, he continued to operate the mill until 1934 when it was taken over by Anders Jakobsson, who carried on running it until his death in 1937. His sons continued running the mill until 1939, when the it was sold. Nils Johansson became the new owner of the post mill and he also succeeded in purchasing the adjacent land. It was difficult to make a living as a miller. There was a war on and the mill was beginning to show its age. Nils Johansson operated the mill until the 1950s and was to be its final miller. Shortly thereafter, Gamla Lund association took over its ownership. For the past few years the mill has been owned by Science Village Scandinavia AB through its subsidiary Lund Östra Odarslöv 13:4 AB.

Post mills were used in Europe as early as the 12th Century, arriving in Sweden during the 13th Century. They did not become common until the 1600s and were mostly found in Skåne, Småland, Uppland and Gotland. The advantage of post mills was that they could be built where no hydropower was available. The disadvantage of post mills was their somewhat limited internal dimensions, often leaving space for only one pair of grindstones. Later, as technology evolved, the post mill lost out to wheel mills, Hollanders and steam-driven mills. Of the original 1,500 or so mills in Skåne only about 117 remain, 20 of which are post mills. Six of these date from the 17th Century, one of them being Odarslöv. The life expectancy of a mill was approximately 200 years. Many of the mills disappeared or were dismantled for use as spare parts for other mills. The fact that the post mill in Östra Odarslöv has survived, and that it is also one of Skåne’s oldest, makes it a monument of cultural and historical interest.

The mill house was renovated in 2016 and the sails were replaced in August 2017.