A quick walk to Blackpool Mill

Hello All!

Three guesses what the weather is as I write (type if you want to be technical) this blog. For anyone who guess rain, award yourself a gold star! To be fair, things have settled to a certain extent of late and continue to do so. I even managed to wash my motor (how very Cockney of me) the other day, I can now see that it’s red. The amount of water that is lying around in the gutters and such, I’m not sure that my fish tank wouldn’t be better being outside at the moment!

Anyway, enough grumbling. These are a few pictures that I took last Summer when I decided to take a wander over towards Narberth. I should really go up into the hills more often I know, as they are a National Park but they are pretty flat and boring for pictures unless you go mooching about in private fields (like a did a while back if you recall). Of late, there is a real prospect of drowning up there at the moment…it floods during the Summer so I expect there are people disappearing hip deep in bogs as we speak.

To get here if you are interested there’s a little car park next to a handy underpass on the A40 just before Narberth. If not, ignore that bit πŸ™‚ Once you get over (under) the road, there’s some lovely mature pine forest which is very pleasant as it isn’t “managed” by the Forestry Commission (for managed, read ravaged) like the woodlands on the hills. Such a shame.

Wandering uphill into Slebech Forest....

Wandering uphill into Slebech Forest….

You can tell that it isn’t touched as you walk further along, as you find what most organisations feel are weeds, such as this lovely tall pink flower in the verge. I’m not too sure of the name but it’s fairly common around here during Summer, growing as tall as me (about 6 ft) or so. I am sure I will be informed as to what this is by people emailing or texting me!

Yes, yes, I should know what this is called but I don't. Very nice though

Yes, yes, I should know what this is called but I don’t. Very nice though

Once you drop down the small hill running parallel along the river, you turn up what, to all intents and purposes, looks like a very old driveway to the actual Blackpool Mill, seen below. The website, Experience Pembrokeshire, states as follows;

From the early 17th century, through to the early 19th century Blackpool Mill was important for its iron furnace and ford. The present building, a cornmill, dates from 1813 and was built by Nathaniel Phillips, the owner of Slebech Estate. He is also credited with the construction of the bridge erected ‘to unite two roads which had long existed’. The mill remained in use for grinding corn until 1945 and for storage possibly longer.

Apparently, according to a number of websites and local leaflets, this is now a museum maintained by Cadw (Welsh Heritage). As a local to this area, I can assure you that it is A) no longer a museum as the gates are locked shut and B) it sure as hell isn’t maintained; a fact that can be proven by the blooming great hole in the roof of the building on the left. This is what Cadw think of Grade 2 listed property. Cheers guys, way to ruin historic buildings. Absolutely shocking.

The Mill; a lovely building in a gorgeous setting, left to fall apart by those trying to protect our heritage

The Mill; a lovely building in a gorgeous setting, left to fall apart by those trying to protect our heritage

Looking over the bridge at the time I walked here, the water was very low and you can see that possibly a fish has succumbed to lack of oxygen, can’t quite see clearly. I suspect that, at the moment, the water here is a positive torrent in comparison. If the mill had been working, last Summer would have had them up against the ropes.

The river which Nathaniel Phillips bridged when building the mill; from here it runs into the Cleddau Estuary

The river which Nathaniel Phillips bridged when building the mill; from here it runs into the Cleddau Estuary

Having had my rant regards Cadw, there seems to be someone who takes care of the area as, when you go along in the Summer, the grass is always pretty regularly cut as you can see here. The overgrown channel in the foreground is a ford for the water that was supplied to the mill that goes further down the property and into the forest. There is a path alongside, mainly used by dog walking now, as it’s a dead-end.

Abandoned building, neatly trimmed lawn. Strange, but makes it look a whole heap better

Abandoned building, neatly trimmed lawn. Strange, but makes it look a whole heap better

Last point of interest here is the “gate guardians” (just a picture of one here) on the gateway to the property, a very proud looking eagle. Perhaps the family symbol of Mr Phillips who built the mill? Not sure and I can’t seem to find out so that’s what I shall go with!

A very proud feathered gate guardian at the entrance to Blackpool Mill. Let's hope he sees the gate open again!

A very proud feathered gate guardian at the entrance to Blackpool Mill. Let’s hope he sees the gate open again!

Well, there we have it for another post. A short one this time as I noticed the next subject of pictures (some sundogs and clouds) that I took on the card started just after these, so apologies for stopping short. Hopefully the weather will have smoothed out even more by that time….having said that, it has actually stopped raining now. I may go out and admire my car with all the water beading off the clean paint.

Thanks for dropping by, hope to see you again soon.

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