THE EXTERIOR OF THE MILL
This photograph of Whitemill was taken around the year 1900 and shows the mill shortly before it finally ceased working. The picture comes from the archives of the Royal Commission for Historical Monuments in England (Photo © Crown Copyright) and it was used as a template to guide the restoration of the exterior of the mill. Note the dovecotes on the side of the mill, and the thatched barns across the road.
New dovecotes were constructed to exactly the same, mis-matched, designs as those of 1900. The barn complex is part of the former Whitemill Farm and was extensively rennovated during 1998. The small structure to the left is now a thatched car port. The cart shed in the original photo had long since been replaced by a gruesome cement-block tractor shed - it simply had to go.
For many people, this is their first sight of the mill and comes as a complete surprise as they crest the bridge en-route from Sturminster Marshall to Shapwick or Wimborne.
Viewed from the road, by the barn, the mill presents an imposing sight as the mill (running away perpendicular to the road) and the mill cottage (parallel with the road) form an 'L' shape.
"Before" photo © Ann Towler.
Compare the inside angle of the 'L' now with the state it was in before conservation. The mill is to the right, the cottage in the background.
During the repairs to the fabric of the building, the entire roof was removed and then reinstated on better rafters. In order to retain some of the original character of the roof, it was put back a bit "wobbly". Each of the many thousands of tiles is held in place by two hand-whittled wooden pegs.
Finally, no cottage in the country would be complete without its cottage garden...