21 July 2015

The Windmill, Fiskerton, Nottinghamshire

To me it looks like a scene from a holiday brochure, and certainly it's difficult to imagine this idyllic setting in this country, let alone at the back of anyone's home in Nottinghamshire. It doesn't seem that long, but it's over twenty years since I visited this private property: at the time I recorded in my Windmills of Nottinghamshire (West Bridgford: Nottinghamshire County Council Planning and Economic Development Heritage Team, 1995) that the post mill roundhouse had a 'gaping hole in the brickwork', lacked a roof and was home to a colony of bats.

When the windmill artist Karl Salsbury Wood came along with his bicycle to make a watercolour of in 1932 it was in a rather forlorn state, having been out of use for well over forty years.

The only known photograph of the windmill in anything like its original state is this above shot dating from about 1890,  showing its spring sails with shutters missing: the mill had ceased to work some time in the last quarter of the 19th century and the last recorded miller was William Bailey in 1875. The photo was created from an ambrotype, an image on  glass with (in this case) a black japan lacquer backing. I'm very grateful to Geoff Pogson for giving me this superb photograph.

And again, how the outside of the mill remains look today. The pool was made in 2001, the ground floor houses the pool plant with toilet and showers, and upstairs is a treadmill and pool table:  I seem to remember it was used as a tool shed when I first visited. Unfortunately I was only able to see the outside this time, although I look forward to re-visiting and seeing more in the near future.

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