FOR SALE: Large early Victorian Single Screw Cider Press (Exbourne, Devon)

Item for sale: Large early Victorian Single Screw Cider Press

Location: Exbourne, Devon

Contact details: Phone Brady 01837 851 291 / Email

Details: This early Victorian single screw press  has been out of use for a few years, and is in store, dissembled, in Exbourne near Okehampton.  It comprises a very heavy single, rising, cast iron screw with quick-turn wheel, holed boss for winding pole, and ratchet. Massive rustic bottom beam, and top beam renewed. Dish & top plate useable if lined with plywood and polythene; requires new pressing beam (which can be supplied – or allowance made) .  Dimensions: Plan.. Dish 81 inches front to back plus spout x Base beam 85 inches long forming the o.a. width;  Stands about 12 feet high, plus, when the screw is raised, a further 38 inches.  So not suitable for the house or garage!  Best bid over £300 (probably little over scrap value).  Can assist with loading. Phone Brady 01837 851 291.

The parts that are missing are:
A]  The pressing beam. I can get one made if you want the extra weight to take away!
B]  The restraining plates, long strips of iron (4 off) have been laid on the ground in my orchard and I am having a job to find them.  they are easy enough to replace, though at an expense.  However, I am hopeful that some more digging around will reveal them.

Both these items are adjustable in the price.

Click images for a bigger picture!

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Parts List:


1. Base85” l x 16”h x 23”w Rustic Beam, on which rest Support Struts (2)  & Dish/Tray, and which  provides an anchor for Restraint Plates (5), which are housed in slots cut into the beam ends.
2. 2 off Support Struts. 9”x 4 ¾” x108” long. These separate the Base and the Top Beam (3). They are notched into hollows on the two respective beams.
3. Top Beam.11 ½” d. x 17” w. This has been replaced with a sawn oak beam of reduced depth which has proved perfectly adequate.  The screw re-acts against the Top Beam, and in these conditions the beam is held in place by the Restraining Plates ( 5 )
4. Spacer Blocks These are to make up the lost thickness of the Top Beam and preserve the spacing provided for in the Restraining Plates.
5. Restraining Plates (Steel) These flat strips are placed alongside the Support Struts. They are slotted at both ends for wedging.
6. 4 off Wedge Plates. These are cast iron blocks with slots through which the Restraining Plates protrude and then held in place with the iron wedges.
7. Wedges (various) See above for use.
8. Pressing Beam 17” x8” This has open jaws cut into each end, which embrace the Support Struts with their Restraining Plates, forming a guide as the Pressing Beam rises or falls. This became weakened with woodworm and now needs total replacement.   
9.  Tray [or Dish]81” x63” Made of several pieces of wood held together with two long bolts, square washers and nuts. The central piece is extended so as to form a kind of spout.  There is battening around the edges to direct fruit juice to the spout. The wood has perished to a considerable extent but I used it regularly with some plywood and building polythene to ensure it was watertight. It has also suffered damage in moving in that the through-bolts have been slightly bent.
10.  2 off Tray Supports7”d. x5” w. x approx. 80” l. These are simply placed beneath the Tray and supported on blocks or masonry so as to tilt the Tray very slightly.
11. Top Plate44” x 41” Made in similar manner to the Tray/Dish. Wood also slightly perished but has proved satisfactory in use. It is loose and placed on top of the mock and under the Pressing Beam.
12. Female Screw Casting This is bolted onto the underneath of the Top Beam…
13. MAIN CASTING This is a massive single casting of cast iron. It rises and lowers through the Female Screw Casting.


Screw Section7”/5 ½” diam. X 78” l. The amount of rise or fall is governed by the length of this screw.  When fully raised I estimate it protrudes vertically beyond the level of the Spacer Blocks by about 44”


Hexagonal male Boss To fix the Winding Wheel onto.


Winding Boss for Pole16” diam. X 9” h. Two 6 ¾” diam. through-holes set at 90 deg. to each other are for inserting a long winding pole for final pressing.


Ratchet   15” diam. At the base of the casting, this, together with the Pawl, can be set to stop the screw reacting to pressure and unwinding.
14. Rotation Block16” square x 3” thick. This iron block is fixed on top of the Pressing Beam, and the Main Casting pivots on the centre.
15. Winding Wheel47 ½” diam. This is a cast iron wheel with six spokes set around a hexagonal holed centre. It slips onto the hexag. Boss (part of the main casting) before assembly of the Casting into the Top Beam. One spoke has been cracked in transport but could be brazed up if required.
16. Pawl Housing This is fixed on a spacer block on the top of the Pressing Beam, into which the Pawl is slotted to engage with the Ratchet.
17. Pawl This is loose and works in conjunction with the Ratchet to stop unintentional unwinding.     I attached a simple coil spring to keep it in place, but originally there might have been a leaf spring..
Please refer to the accompanying sketch for references.


1.  If re-erected for actual use, care should be given to the level of the Base and the Tray. Too low and there is insufficient space below the spout of the Tray for a keeve or receiving vessel for the juice. Too high and there may not be enough roof space when the Screw is raised.

2.  However, it should be remembered that there must be space under the Base for the bottom ends of the Restraining Plates, with their Wedge Plates and Wedges. There is little reason why these should not be housed in holes in the floor, in which case the Base can rest on the floor. The ends of the Restraining Plates etc. should be kept reasonably dry to prevent corrosion.

3.   The Tray Supports can be mounted loosely on blocks.

4.   The framework formed by the above components re-acts when hard winding pressure is exerted, and I found it necessary to provide a couple of extra struts to come off the barn wall to resist these sideways forces (not provided).

5. Apart from the historic interest, the main intrinsic value of this press lies, in my opinion, in the Main Casting, which I estimate at well over a ton and half.

6.  The Press is now in pieces, and help in loading will be given to the buyer.

7.   The following elements, necessary for re-construction, can not be provided:  Nuts and bolts (though some are available, please check); Prop struts referred to in Note 4; Blocks or masonry for putting under the Base or Tray Supports.  The Press is sold as seen.

8.  The Pressing Beam (8): A buyer may prefer to make his own, saving on transport; I can provide a pattern to replicate the broken one. Alternatively, I can probably provide a beam if required, depending on price agreed.

9.  Pressing for cider, I made a cheese or mock using bright oat straw as a binder. However, I see no reason why frames , racks and hairs/porous blankets cannot be pressed in this press.

10. When erecting, thought should be put into what length of pole you will use for final winding. This is as relevant to fixing its position as the actual dimensions. I found 10 ft. was effective; even better with two people at the end!

11. Historical Note.  The description “early Victorian” is solely my own judgement and is not authenticated.  I bought this press from a farm in East Ogwell near Newton Abbot, South Devon, in about 1975 and brought it up to my home in Exbourne and used it in a subsidiary enterprise for a few years before work took me away. I was therefore surprised to see the pattern replicated at a farm near here at Winkleigh, the only one I  know of roughly similar design, which however is a bit smaller, (and, almost unbelievably, has the thick screw made in wood).


4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Chris Jones said,

    Dear Sir,

    this looks very interesting. I am part of an informal group of people who have been dabbling in cider and are interested in find some more substantial equipment to get us up to the next level. Could you let me know if it is still for sale, and if so how much you want for it? If you have any other equipment or know anyone else who has could you let me know as well?

    many thanks

    • 2

      TheCiderBlog said,

      Hi Chris,

      Many thanks for the comment. It would be best to contact Brady directly (details in the post), as I am just advertising it on the site and not the one who is selling it. I can try and see if anyone else is selling anything else too for you if this is not available anymore.



  2. 3

    Gary Blackmore said,

    Did you eventually sell the press as am looking for one.

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