Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Windmills and wildlife in Lincolnshire...

We've been away to 'the flatlands' (Lincolnshire and Norfolk!) for a holiday and had a lovely time. I do like a dose of flat landscape, big sky and bright sunshine whenever I get the chance :)

We broke our journey on the way to Norfolk by staying a couple of nights with Ade's parents near Lincoln. We went for a fantastic meal at The Old Bakery and then checked out Lincoln's lovely windmill...
Ellis windmill 3

Ellis mill is a prominent landmark when you see Lincoln from far away (providing you're on the right side of the city) but when you're actually in the city, it's surprisingly tucked away and takes quite a bit of tracking down considering how big it is!
Ellis windmill close up 1

Although I've lived in Lincoln in the past (when I was at university there) and have been to Lincoln hundreds of times, I'd only ever seen the windmill from a long way away, so it was great to finally visit it properly.

We had a guided tour with one of the windmill volunteers and saw the huge mill stones inside the mill. The windmill is still operational and the sails were turning when we visited, although they weren't actually milling that day (they can disengage the cogs that turn the mill stones to grind the flour).

This is where the action happens - the mill stones are inside the wooden casing...
Mill stones inside the mill

There were some photographs on display inside the mill of old windmills from around Lincolnshire, many of which aren't around any more...
Old photos of Lincolnshire windmills

In the bottom right hand corner was one labelled 'Cleethorpes', which is where I'm from...
Old photo of Cleethorpes windmill

I don't remember ever seeing or hearing about a windmill in Cleethorpes and wondered if it was actually Waltham windmill, which is about 3 miles outside Cleethorpes and is still operational. The windmill volunteers couldn't shed any light on the Cleethorpes windmill and it wasn't in any of their books.

But having looked at the photos of Waltham windmill on its website, I can see that it's got six sails, whereas the Cleethorpes one has only four and the windows on the Waltham mill are all in a row, rather than staggered, so it probably is a different mill. I'll have to investigate further! :)

Ade's Mum bought a bag of Ellis mill stoneground wholemeal flour, which I'm sure she'll use to make something very tasty...
Flour from Ellis Mill

And I bought a Lincolnshire windmills tea towel!
Lincolnshire windmill tea towel
I'm getting worryingly into my souvenir tea towels... I seem to be building up quite a collection! Although they do get used so at least that's something :)

Other Lincolnshire adventures included several trips to Chambers Farm Wood, which is part of the Lincolnshire Limewoods and is excellent for butterflies (particularly Marsh Fritillary, which is quite scarce).

The woods are lovely to wander around...
Path through the wood

Branches overhead

We saw lots of beautiful Marbled White butterflies in one of the meadows and several day-flying Burnet moths, which looked very colourful feeding on the thistle flowers...
Burnet moth

There is a lovely butterfly garden near the visitors centre...
Butterfly garden

Where we saw a Broad Bordered Bee Hawk-moth, which was very exciting, as I'd never seen one before - they look like humming birds! :)

I didn't get a photo of the bee hawk-moth but got one of a regular bee enjoying the flowers...
Bee on a flower

I'm looking forward to my next Lincolnshire trip! :D


  1. Lovely pics, glad you had a good time and it was lovely to see you at Woolfest. Re Cleethorpes Mill - hope this helps! http://www.walthamwindmill.co.uk/Cleethorpes%20mill%20notes.htm
    love Carolyn x

  2. Sounds like you had a really good trip. Nice photos, as usual. We get hummingbird moths in our garden, they love the lavender. I've never managed to get a photo of one because they move too fast, and if they do settle they just look like an ordinary moth.

  3. Ah ha! I should have realised that Mill Road was the likely home of the Cleethorpes windmill! Thanks for the linky, I hadn't had the chance for a proper read on the Waltham windmill site, there's lots of interesting stuff on there! :) x

  4. Ooh, hummingbird moths in your garden! That's lovely! They are tricky to photograph and definitely don't look as exciting when they're not in flight. I think the one we saw was on the lavender - it must be a favourite! :)