A derelict from a derelict…
Here’s Brograve Mill. There are windpumps seemingly at every turn in the Norfolk Broads, though of course in the past, there were many, many more, each one playing a hugely important role in transferring water into the man-made ‘cuts’ to gift farmers with plentiful and fertile land. Though a lucky few have been resplendently restored, even showboating by turning their sails, the majority have either been torn down, or stand in states of somewhat haunting disrepair… evocative emblems of a fading past. No longer needed. Erected in 1771 and abandoned in 1930, now occupied only by cormorants, this mill has been left to slowly sink into the boggy Brograve Level. Its cap and most of the sails have long rotted away, and the structure has developed a very visible lean in recent years; you wonder how much longer it can stand, even if it is listed, banded and landtied.
I’ve spoken before of how much I enjoy drawing mills for both the nostalgia and sheer inspiration they invoke. Brograve Mill is quite a celebrity of the broads, appearing to be a very popular subject for both photographs, paintings and drawings. Here’s one more! It’s looking quite pretty and intriguing in the warm afternoon… drown out the colour and antagonise the sky, and it would be quite a different story.
I also said in there that, one day, I’d own and live in one – I’m still working on that.