Oxfordshire and Wiltshire Landscape

30/07/2011
I took a trip out into the Cotswolds and into Wiltshire on Saturday to grab a taste of the beautiful landscape close to home
Fields of Joy
I have been a keen photographer of lighthouses since I purchased my camera as they are always in great locations and full of atmosphere. To me windmills are the lighthouses of the interior.

There are a handful of nice windmills close to home, but the most famous, Chesterton, is currently surrounded by scaffolding. Thus, I thought I would chase a few poppy fields and then head down to Wiltshire to shoot this rather fine Windmill.

It's quite a hard windmill to get a good photo of as the public area around the windmill is very small thus only giving you the obvious close ups. Close ups are fine but as a landscape photographer I wanted to capture the beauty of this windmill in its historic context, amongst the wheat and rolling fields which fed it.

Its equally hard to get a good picture of the windmill from afar because the local farmer seemed to take offence at me taking even one step onto his land. Thats fair enough but one does think that a little bit of kindness would go a long way... Anyhow, from driving around and around I found a location that was absolutely amazing, the rolling fields of wheat, the sun setting, the rays pushing through the clouds and in the corner a delightful white windmill completing the shot to my immense delight.

I took many photo's of Wilton Windmill but have only uploaded a couple to date - the "Shining on the Harvest" picture (above) however, is one of my favourite pictures as it is so quintessentially english and really captures the rolling nature of a cotswold landscape. I hope you agree.

I should perhaps finish this article to say that after a hard days work photographing I like to finish my day by consulting the Good Pub Guide and find a cracking pub to enjoy a good pint in. I think the pub I went to after Wilton was one of the best ever.

The Three Tuns in Great Bedwyn has great beer, great food, a great location and a fab dog! The staff were friendly, the atmosphere laid back. Whilst on my own, in no way did I feel stared at or out of place. I can absolutely thoroughly recommend it - in Spinal Tap terms, it is most definitely an 11.

I hope you like the shots I have uploaded, they are in my landscape gallery.



Information about Wilton Windmill from Wikipedia:

The mill was built in 1821 because the construction of the Kennet and Avon Canal had included the canalisation of the River Bedwyn which had previously powered several water mills in the area.

The windmill was in use for a century, continuing into the 1920s, but fell into disuse, probably as the result of competition from large steam roller mills. In the 1960s it was added to the list of buildings of architectural or historical merit as Grade II. In 1971 it was bought by Wiltshire County Council and leased to the Wiltshire Historic Buildings Trust, which early in 1972 began to restore it to working condition. By the end of the summer of 1976 the windmill was once again making flour.

It is now owned by the new Wiltshire Council and managed by the Wilton Windmill Society, formed in 1976 and operated entirely by volunteers. In the 1980s the mill was in financial difficulties, which led to the Society forming a cricket XI, the Wilton Millers' Cricket Team, to raise funds by playing sponsored matches, and in 2011 this was still in existence, although no longer needed for fundraising.

Flour, made from locally-grown wheat, is still produced at the mill and can be bought on site and in local shops.