But where was Nellie Dean?

We scratched Hinton (D)ampner off the visit list today. Too wet in the garden, said their website. The house is smothered in scaffolding. Try again later. And so it came to pass that we ventured into another National Trust site, right in Winchester itself. The City Mill was our pleasure.

We walk past this most times we go into the city but without our NT membership cards we would never have bothered to go in. Our loss. Small but perfectly restored. Today it was running to demonstrate milling to anybody who cared to enter. Free cakes and biscuits straight from the oven. Lemon and lime drizzle cake.

The other attraction is the wildlife that frequents the Itchen here. The star is the otter but daytime sightings are rare as you would expect. There is some excellent CCTV camera footage of otters in the mill (taken at 5.20am) but one volunteer said that he had only seen an otter once in 7 years. The vols are friendly and knowledgeable and tried to persuade me to sign up. I was more interested in the pair of young Grey Wagtails dibbling dabbling along the stones. You can’t go up to where the grain is put into the hoppers but you can go down almost to water level. So we did.

Here are my photos from the walk around.untitled-15









JMW Turner wuz hereuntitled-18


16 thoughts on “But where was Nellie Dean?

  1. I can smell the flour-in-the-air smell from here. If you are ever in Cambridgeshire there is a lovely working mill in the grounds of Anglesey Abbey.

    You’d think they could switch off the sky tap now the tanks are full again.

    • I only learned recently that Anglesey Abbey is no more in Anglesey than Leeds Castle is in Yorkshire. It looks a wonderful place to visit. So many places to go. If only they were all fog friendly.

    • Lulu is under observation at present Steve. We are having a problem with wasps getting in and she tries to eat them. I think a stuffed otter is safer.

      • I hope she does not catch one, it won’t go down easy, but if she does then I hope it only takes one to show her the error of her ways. We did not have that problem with Murphy. Anything the flew and buzzed made him run and hide.

  2. A step back in history is always welcome and I loved the b/w shots, full of drama.The old saxon farm we had in Holland was on the National Trust restoration list which meant that the much needed new thatched roof carried a 33% subsidy.
    Otters muct be as rare as platypus. Helvi saw one in the river flowing through our farm in Australia. I never ever spotted one yet.

  3. Love the brick and wood. Probably as close to an otter as we’re going to get. I once knew a girl who called herself Otter. She had a very unusual talent and that’s all I’m going to say.

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