Heage Windmill

Photo taken during restoration work with two sails removed.

Heage Windmill is the only stone towered, fully working, six sailed windmill remaining in the UK. It isn’t very tall, but at 410 feet above sea level it doesn’t have to be. It stands on quite a windy brow just above the village of Heage in Derbyshire, north east of the town of Belper. Although the photo shows it with only four sails it is, in fact, a six sailed mill but rot was found in one in early 2005 so a pair had to be removed to keep the balance. (If one of a pair is removed it makes the mill uneven.)

The first mention of a mill in the village is an advert in the Derby Mercury for 16 June 1791, which calls on any interested mason “inclined to undertake the stone building” to turn up at the site. The ad went on to say “all materials laid down in place” which basically means that stone for the tower was dug out of the side of the hill. Within seven years she was up for letting and in 1803 was put up for sale with an adjoining house, barn and six acres of land. By 1816 she (according to the guide book all mills are called “she”) was up for rent again, this time with only four acres alongside.

In the late 1840s the mill was bought by a pair of Sheffield brothers, Isaac and John Shore, who also bought a water mill in the valley below. They fitted a steam engine to that mill and so ensured that milling could go on in any weather – even if it was too dry to keep a mill leat running or if the wind fell. Heage is believed to have been the only village in the UK with wind and water mills owned by the same company. The Shore family still owned the mill when it closed in 1919. Heage is still used today to grind wheat and make flour but it is for tourism and not for commercial reasons. The mill is open to the public and it is possible to see the machinery in action.

Cantlop Bridge

A single span iron bridge built to a design approved by Thomas Telford.

Telford was county surveyor of bridges for Shropshire from 1787 to 1834 and was responsible for 42 bridges in the county. Cantlop Bridge is the only one still remaining in its original position.

It is no longer used by road traffic, however. It was replaced by a nearby concrete bridge in the 1970s.

Reproduction of the plan, dated 1818, submitted to Telford for approval before the bridge was constructed

1. Flat deck
2. Cast iron beam
3. Lattice spandrel
4. Cast iron arch rib
5. Abutment
6. Iron deck plate

Arbor Low

Arbor Low, Derbyshire is a prehistoric henge monument, that is, it consists of a circle of stones set inside a circular ditch with a bank enclosing the complete structure. It is unclear what henges were used for but it seems likely that whatever went on there was designed to be seen only by a few chosen people. The bank around the monument would have made it impossible to see activities within the stone circle from outside. Perhaps observers sat on the inner side of the bank, but it would still have been available to only a restricted few.

The site is a Neolithic one, built around 5,000 years ago from locally quarried limestone. Superimposed on it is a burial mound dating from the Bronze Age, which was excavated in the 19th century and found to contain two urn burials. The stones would orginally have been upright but they are all now fallen over. There are a number of entrances to the circle that show as gaps in the bank and there is some evidence that a processional way might once have led from the south because there is a linear earthwork close to the southern entrance. About 250 metres away on a horizon to the south west is another Bronze Age burial mound called Gib Hill. It too lies over an earlier monument, a Neolithic long barrow that probably pre-dates the circle.

Arbor Low stands on private land behind a farm at the top of a fairly steep hill. The view from the site is extremely dramatic as it is possible to see for a very long way. Whoever built the site must either have wanted the mound to be visible from a great distance or to be able to see anyone approaching it.

The Pre-Raphaelites

Founded in 1848 the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood originally consisted of seven members: Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) his brother, art critic William Michael Rossetti (1829-1919) painter James Collinson (1825-81) painter William Holman Hunt (1827-1910) painter John Everett Millais (1829-96) sculptor Thomas Woolner (1825-92) and art critic Frederic George Stephens (1828-1907). Dante Rossetti was a pupil of Ford Madox Brown (1821-93) who was also involved with the movement. Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898) was one of Rossetti’s pupils and is included in the Pre-Raphaelite group.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Rossetti’s portrait of Jane Burden –
Mrs William Morris.
The typical Pre-Raphaelite woman

Born London 1828, the eldest son of Gabriel Rossetti, professor of Italian at King’s College, London and Frances Polidori. Attended King’s College School from 1836. Moved to Henry Sass’s Drawing Academy in 1841 and became a probationer at the Royal Academy in 1844. In 1848 studied under Ford Madox Brown and introduced himself to Holman Hunt after seeing his works at the RA Summer Exhibition. September that year the Brotherhood was formed. Met Elizabeth Siddal 1850. Met Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris 1856 and the following year worked with them on the Oxford Union Murals. 1860 married Elizabeth Siddal but she died two years later and Rossetti’s poetry manuscripts were buried with her. However, they were later recovered from the grave in 1869. At the same time Rossetti began his relationship with Jane Morris. A year later started taking medication for insomnia, which led to addiction. Between 1871-74 shared Kelmscott Manor with the Morrises. Died 1882.

William Holman Hunt

The Scapegoat 1854. Represents the Jewish ritual where a goat is driven into the wilderness on the Day of Atonement to carry away the sins of the congregation.

Born 1827, Cheapside, London, eldest son of warehouse manager William Hunt and his wife Sarah Holman. Appointed clerk to estate agent who was an amateur artist in 1839 and encouraged to take up art. Took drawing classes at the Mechanics Institute. In 1843 Hunt’s father gave permission for him to take up art full time and he became a Royal Academy probationer a year later. In 1848 he was working in Millais’s studio. Also met Rossetti and Ford Madox Brown. Following year toured

Edward Lear 1857. One of two portraits donated to Liverpool city and now in the Walker Art Gallery.

parts of Europe with Rossetti. Exhibited at Royal Academy 1850.

Toured Holy Land 1854-5 where he found inspiration for several worked including the Scapegoat. 1865 married Fanny Waugh but she died in childbirth within a year. 1869-72 made several visits to Europe, Egypt and Jerusalem. 1873 married his sister-in-law Edith Waugh. By the late 1890s his eyesight was failing. 1907 exhibited 125 works at Liverpool and donated two to the city’s art collection. Died 1910.

John Everett Millais

Lingering Autumn. 1890
Now in Lady Lever Gallery,

Born 1829 in Southampton, youngest son of John William Millais and Emily Hodgkinson, the family moved back to Jersey, where Millais’s parents were both born, in 1833. He moved to London in 1838 to study at Henry Sass’s Drawing Academy and then moved to the Royal Academy as a probationer in 1840. Exhibited at the RA in 1846. 1848 began close friendship with Holman Hunt and became Brotherhood founder member later that year. Married Ruskin’s ex-wife Euphemia Gray 1855. 1870s began work on a series of portraits and in 1878 was awarded the Medaille d’Honneur after a very successful exhibition in Paris. Bubbles used 1886 by Pears Soap to advertise the product in magazines. Created Baronet 1885. 1890s returned to landscapes, including Lingering Autumn. 1896 elected President of the Royal Academy but was already seriously ill and died in August that year. 1898 posthumous exhibition at the RA.

Ford Madox Brown

Self portrait 1850 Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

Born 1821 in Calais. 1830s family moved to Belgium and Brown studied in Bruges, Ghent and at Antwerp Academy. 1839 moved to live with sister in Antwerp after the death of his parents. 1840 visited France to study works in the Louvre and began exhibiting at Royal Academy in London. Married cousin Elizabeth Bromley. 1844 entered contest for decoration of Houses of Parliament. Wife died 1846. Settled London 1847. 1848 Rossetti asked to be a pupil. Brown was sympathetic to the Brotherhood’s aims but did not officially join when the group formed that year. 1850s married second wife Emma. Exhibited in Liverpool and went to the city 1856 to meet Pre-Raphaelite supporters there. By late 1850s had several Liverpool patrons. 1874 daughter Lucy married William Michael Rossetti. Died 1893, three years after Emma. (Other works Work/Last of England)

Edward Burne-Jones

Born in Birmingham in a house on Bennett’s Hill. Burne-Jones studied under Ruskin and carried out many sketches of the works of the great masters, an influence that can be detected in his later work. For part of his career Burne-Jones designed for William Morris. Fine examples of his art can be seen in St Philip’s Cathedral, Birmingham, which stands just a few hundred yards from where he was born. The building boasts four huge stained glass windows designed and installed between 1885 and 1897.

Another church where Burne-Jones’s work can be seen is Wilden, near Stourport in Worcester. The tiny church there has several of his designs, although they were all installed after his death. The windows were all of a modular design and it was possible to order saints and holy figures, backgrounds and surrounds in a kind of mix-and-match way. The figures found at Wilden can also be seen in other churches in different combinations.

In the picture above, from Wilden, there are two panels. The left-hand one is a foliage design by William Morris but the right-hand one is Burne-Jones’s Joshua. In the background of the panel it is possible to make out trumpeters (from the bible story of the Walls of Jericho) It was possible to order other panels to stand beside this one that showed more trumpeters.

William Blake 1757-1827

“I Want I Want” (1793) engraving. Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

JERUSALEM (from ‘Milton’)
And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?

And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!

I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England’s green and pleasant land.


Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And, when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

Búkolla and the Boy

(This tale was told by tour guide Hafsteinn during a coach trip round the Golden Circle in Iceland at Christmas 2004. A version of it can also be found in Icelandic Folk and Fairy Tales by May and Hallberg Hallmundsson, first published 1987 by Iceland Review, Reykjavik)

Once upon a time, as all stories start, there was a peasant and his wife who lived on the Thingvellir plain. They were not very rich but they had a very strong and beautiful cow, whose name was Búkolla because that is a good name for cows in Iceland. Now Búkolla was their pride and joy. They also had a son but they did not love him so much.

One day Búkolla went missing and the peasant and his wife were beside themselves with worry. They said to the boy: “You had better go and find the cow and don’t come back until you do. If you cannot find her, don’t come back at all.”  They gave him some food and two pairs of shoes, because his own were made of fish skin and were not good for walking, and he set off across the plain to look for the cow.

He walked and walked and eventually became tired so he sat down on a rock to rest. He ate some food and he changed his shoes and then he shouted: “Búkolla, Búkolla! If you can hear me, please moo!” And far away in the very distance he heard the sound: “Moo!” of the precious Búkolla. So he walked towards the sound.

He walked and walked and again became tired so he sat down on a rock to rest. He ate some more food and changed his shoes and then he shouted: “Búkolla, Búkolla! If you can hear me, please moo!” And slightly closer he heard the sound: “Moo!” of the precious Búkolla. So he walked towards the sound.

He walked and walked and again became tired so he sat down again on a rock to rest. He ate some more food and changed his shoes again and then he shouted: “Búkolla, Búkolla! If you can hear me, please moo!” And this time, right under his feet, he heard the sound: “Moo!” of the precious Búkolla.  And he called out: “Búkolla, where are you?” and the cow replied, because this is a fairy tale and animals can talk in fairy tales: “I’m in a cave.”

So the boy searched and found the entrance to the cave and when he went in he immediately saw that it was the home of trolls. Búkolla was tied to the wall so the boy quickly undid the rope and led her outside but he had not gone far before he looked behind and saw two female trolls, a little one and a big one, following along.  He could see that the two trolls would soon catch them up so he said: “Búkolla, Búkolla. What shall we do?” And Búkolla said: “Pull a hair from my tail and place it on the ground.” This the boy did and Búkolla stood over the hair and said: “I cast this spell upon the hair that it should become a river so wide that only a bird of the air could cross it.” And immediately a huge, wide river appeared between the boy and the trolls.

The smaller troll was angry when she saw the river but the larger troll said: “Go back and fetch our father’s bull.” So the little one went and fetched the bull and the bigger one made it drink the river dry so that they could cross it.

The boy and Búkolla had not gone far again when he looked behind and saw the large troll and the small troll following along. He could see that the two trolls would soon catch them up so he said: “Búkolla, Búkolla. What shall we do?” And Búkolla said: “Pull a hair from my tail and place it on the ground.” This the boy did and Búkolla stood over the hair and said:  “I cast this spell upon the hair so that it should become a fire so hot that only a bird of the air could cross it.”  And immediately a hot line of fire appeared between the boy and the trolls.

The smaller troll was angry when she saw the fire but the larger troll said: “Go back and fetch our father’s bull.” So the little one went and fetched the bull and the bigger one made it piss on the fire so that it was put out and they could cross it.

The boy and Búkolla had not gone far again when he looked behind and saw the large troll and the small troll following along. He could see that the two trolls would soon catch them up so he said: “Búkolla, Búkolla. What shall we do?” And Búkolla said: “Pull a hair from my tail and place it on the ground.” This the boy did again and Búkolla stood over the hair and said:  “I cast this spell upon the hair so that it should become a mountain so high that only a bird of the air could cross it.”  And immediately a tall mountain appeared between the boy and the trolls.

The smaller troll was angry when she saw the mountain but the larger troll said: “Go back and fetch our father’s drill.” So the little one went and fetched the drill and the bigger one started to make a tunnel through the mountain and the two began to go through. But trolls are not very clever and they did not realise that the tunnel got narrower at the far end and the two soon became stuck. And when the sun came out it shone into the hole and turned the trolls to stone.  So there they are still today.

The boy and Búkolla got safely home where the peasant and his wife were delighted to see their cow. But they still didn’t care for the boy very much.

Albert Memorial

The Albert Memorial is one of the best known monuments of the Victorian Age. Architect George Gilbert Scott wanted to set up something similar to a Medieval shrine and is believed to have been influenced by the Eleanor Crosses set up by King Edward I after the death of his Queen. Those crosses were built at all the places her coffin rested on her funeral procession. Few remain but there is a fine example at Geddington in Northamptonshire.

The memorial to Albert, Victoria’s Prince Consort, has 169 carved figures on a frieze as well as sculptural groups at each corner representing Agriculture, Commerce, Engineering and Manufacture. Other groups represent Africa, America, Asia and Europe. The figure of Albert himself, sculpted by John Foley, is seated at the centre and is covered in gold. The enormous edifice is highly ornate and typical of the overblown High Victorian design of its time. The whole thing is more than 170 feet tall.

Materials used in the construction include glass, stone, cast iron, lead and bronze as well as the gilding on Albert himself. The statue was re-gilded as part of a major overhaul of the monument in the 1990s and was officially reopened in October 1998.

Ideal homes and model villages

The nineteenth century was a time of great change socially as well as practically and many of the leading industrialists of the day were as concerned with their workers’ living conditions as they were with profit making. They constructed “ideal” housing for their staff that took many out of slums and gave them space and light for the first time. But the accommodation came at a price. Workers were expected to live their lives outside work in a way that pleased their employers and were often coerced into taking part in activities that might not otherwise have been their choice.



The first of the great industrial villages was built by social improver and mill owner Titus Salt (1803-76) who named his waterside development after himself and the River Aire, which flowed close by – Saltaire.

Terraces of Italianate homes were constructed near his five-storey mill next to the Leeds Liverpool Canal. The estate was paid for from Salt’s profits after he developed a method for spinning alpaca goat wool. The mill itself was opened in 1853. The village was begun in 1851 and rapidly grew into a “model village” which, by the 1870s, had a church, hospital, baths and school. Central to the village was the Saltaire Club and Institute which, like the rest of the settlement, was strictly tee-total. It included a reading room, libary and lecture hall.



Bournville is perhaps the best known of the industrial villages because the suburb of Birmingham is still the home of Cadbury’s chocolate. The Quaker Cadbury family had developed their business because they were staunch supporters of the Temperance Movement and offered chocolate drink as an alternative to strong liquor.

The village was begun in 1879 after the brothers moved the factory from the city centre to a pleasant, rural setting south west of Birmingham. By 1904 it had a baths and 10 years later had a concert hall, playing fields and a village green.

Port Sunlight

Lady Lever Gallery

South of Birkenhead on Wirral, Port Sunlight was developed from 1888 by the Lever Brothers, to house employees at their soap works. Compared with housing in the area at the time the homes had generous proportions, and they were equipped with bathrooms. The houses were attractive gabled properties set around squares. The heart of the village is a magnificent, tree-lined piazza with rose beds and fountains, the centre piece of which is the Lady Lever Art Gallery.

This elegant Palladian structure with its Ionic columns and a glass dome at each end is a stark contrast to the sturdy mock-Tudor terraces that surround it. The gallery houses an eclectic collection of 18th and 19th century art works covering painting, sculpture, bronze casting, ceramics, furniture and needlework.

**Throughout this site there are photographs taken at the Lady Lever Art Gallery and used with kind permission of Liverpool Museums.

Stourhead Gardens

Stourhead House at Mere in Wiltshire is a National Trust property set in 40 acres (16 ha) of magnificent gardens. The site was bought by London banker Henry Hoare in 1718, who knocked down the existing Stourton House and began building his own. In 1741 his son, Henry, went to live with his father on the estate and spent the next forty years landscaping his surroundings. Much of the garden is classically influenced and it includes a number of temples and shrines as well as a grotto and the Pantheon. (See photo)
Summer 2005: Underwater archaeologists carried out a study of the lake in front of the Temple of Flora in a bid to find physical evidence of a water cascade that is shown in a 1753 painting of the estate.  It appears that such a cascade did once exist but it was swamped when the valley was flooded to create the lake.  The survey also found evidence for medieval fishponds. One unusual find was a stoneware ink bottle that was dredged from the lake bed during the study.
National Trust Magazine Autumn 2005.

Eugenius Birch (1818-84)

Engineer Eugenius Birch is most famous for his seaside pier constructions. During his life he was responsible for no fewer than 14 of them including some of the best known such as Brighton West and Blackpool North. Born in Gloucester Terrace, Shoreditch, Eugenius was the son of a corn dealer, John Birch and his wife Susanne. His older brother, John Brannis Birch, worked closely with Eugenius on his engineering projects.

Pier end
Aberystwyth Pier – Mid Wales. The original pier was designed by Eugenius Birch and built in 1865. In this photo only a very small part of Birch’s original work can be seen. A long section at the seaward end was washed away in a storm less than a year after the pier opened and it was replaced with a narrower part, several years later, by a different engineer. Only the section under the pavilion (the yellow building) is Birch’s work

Birch’s early education took place in Brighton but he developed his taste for engineering while watching the cutting of the Regent’s Canal near his home in London. While he was a young boy he submitted an idea to the Greenwich Railway Company that, at the time, was novel and innovative. He suggested a method to put wheels under a railway carriage, rather than at the sides.

At the age of 16 he was apprenticed to a works in Limehouse, London. Within three years he was achieving success with medals for his drawings of working engines and machinery.As well as piers Birch was responsible for other, more conventional, structures such as bridges and he was involved in building the Calcutta to Delhi railway in India where he learned some of the oriental design that he later incorporated into his seaside structures. His first pier was built at Margate in 1853 but altogether he was responsible for 14 around England and Wales: Aberystwyth, Blackpool North, Bournemouth, Brighton West, Deal, Eastbourne, Hastings, Hornsea, Lytham, Margate, New Brighton, Plymouth, Scarborough and Weston-Super-Mare Birnbeck.

Most were constructed in cast iron because he believed that wrought iron piers would be a hazard if they were hit by boats. He argued that wrought iron would bend and buckle, and would take a great deal of repairing. Cast iron, however, would shatter, reducing the damage area and hence cutting repair costs. Neglect and old age have put paid to most of Birch’s piers, however, and little now remains of his original work.