Finnicky details like ‘not being in Durham‘ and ‘not being surrounded by Maples’ do not detract from the fabulousness of Mapledurham house (and mill, turbine, tea-rooms, village, riverside)
It is a well preserved Elizabethan building on the banks of the river Thames, a couple of miles outside Reading town. Getting there involved a 2 mile drive down a winding single-track country road bounded by 10ft ancient hedgerows. Thomas and I had to use our skills for
- looking around corners
- pulling into the hedgerow, breathing-in and closing our eyes/headlamps
A friend recently bought the derelict Flitwick Mill, that is mentioned in the Doomsday book (1066 AD). Looking around the Mapledurham mill gave me an insight into how the Flitwick mill might have looked and sounded. I loved the sound of the creaking cogs transferring the power of the waterwheel to the millstone.
Other highlights of the mill included the
- dangerous staircase (ladder)
- mill shop selling flour milled onsite
- modern turbine – big corkscrew being turned by the river-flow
Lots of lovely things in the actual house, staircases, wood panneling, furniture, textiles, fireplaces…..
I kept a look-out for woodcarvings or plaster mouldings of similar design to the carving on my new, old, bench. They might help me to ‘date’ the bench. I din’t find any, I’ll keep looking….