Friday, September 17, 2010

Post windmill, Saxtead Green

click photo to enlarge
Records show that there has been a windmill at Saxtead Green in Suffolk since 1796. The Listed Building details for the present weatherboarded structure suggest that parts of it date back to that time. However, what is visible today is mainly the work of the nineteenth century, there having been at least three re-buildings during its lifetime.

Saxtead Green's mill is a post mill. That is to say the whole body of the mill and its machinery is mounted on a central vertical post. This is the earliest design of European windmill. There are quite a few remaining in Britain, but they are outnumbered by tower mills. Post mills are often turned to face the wind by manpower. This one has a fantail. Over the years the design of the post mill was improved. Here at Saxtead Green the base of the trestle (the brackets at the base of the post) is surrounded by a roundhouse that provides storage and protects the wooden post and trestle from the weather.The mill continued to work until 1947. In 1951 it passed into state care, and in 1957-60 was completely restored. Today it is managed by English Heritage and is open to the public.

The white woodwork, black and white buildings and overcast sky suggested at the point of taking the photograph that the final outcome for this shot might be a black and white image. It seems to work quite well.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 22mm (44mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f4.5
Shutter Speed: 1/800
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On