Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Saxtead Green, Suffolk
A short break
Heading out of Framlingham the other evening, it occurred to me that I'd left the café too soon after my coffee and long glass of cooling water. So when I spotted, on the A1120, a lay-by with what looked like a public lavatory, I pulled swiftly in. The lay-by was on the ‘wrong’ side of the road, but there was no other traffic and I slid across with ease.
My camera bag was on the floor of the car so, rather than put it in the boot, I slung it on my shoulder and made for the small brick building, gratefully. On emerging, I caught sight of a distant flash of white through some trees and undergrowth. A few yards of bushwhacking brought me to a fence and a view of this wonderful structure, Saxtead Green post mill, gleaming in the sunshine. The mill is said to date back to 1796, although there has been a mill here since the 13th century. It was used commercially until 1947, and is now kept by English Heritage, its white weatherboarded walls, solid roundhouse, and mostly iron machinery maintained in good order.
Having photographed the mill, I made my way back through the undergrowth to the lay-by, to be confronted by a curious bystander who'd also pulled up nearby. ‘Whatever will he think I've been doing,’ I thought, ‘lurking amongst the undergrowth near the gents?’ He eyed me for a tense moment….and said, ‘Beautiful mill, isn't it? And that's the best view of it there is.’ Some people know.