Sunday, 19 July 2009
Visit to a working mill, Sturminster Newton
Yesterday we took time to stop in at the mill and have a good look around; absolutely fascinating, all the machinery was working ( not actually milling, but we'll go back at the beginning of August on one of their milling days); I loved the fabric flour shutes, made of thick cotton and ticking. The mill dates fromn the 17th century in its present incarnation, although there has been a mill there for some 1000 years or so, I believe.We got shown around by a very knowledgeable woman, who is also one of the millers, so we'll see her next time. They're not actually allowed to sell the flour they mill due to health and hygiene regulations, etc, but you are welcome to take some for a donation to "feedd your budgie, guinea pig, etc" - so we'll do that! In its lieu yesterday, I bought a bag of flour from fairly near Eling Tide Mill at Southampton, the last working tidal mill in the UK. Looking forward to a loaf from that.
Teh Stour is a lovely river - reeds, bullrushes, water lilies, black poplars; this stretch was populated by young mallard ducks, and a moorhen with a little chick - just a ball of black fluff bobbing about - wonderful to see, and the nest was right beneath one of the windows. There used to be 50 mills along the Stour; 2 miles from Sturminster is Cutt Mill (destroyed in an arsonaa ttack some years back, just a ruined shell now, although there are ongoing plans for it; there was s amll exhibition and information about it all available yesterday, downstairs in the mill), and a mile the other way is Fiddleford Mill.
It really is in an idyllic spot, little changed over hundreds of years; the view from the road is quite an iconic view of Dorset, and has been painted many thousands of times - I hope to get around to doing my own painting of it soon, or maybe a pen and ink.
If you're ever in the area, it's well worth a visit.
Posted by MrsL at 07:59