"A Tale Of Two Mills" Part 1 - Green's Mill, Sneinton
w/e 22 August 2004
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Green's Mill

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times ...." - so begins Charles Dickens' epic "A Tale of Two Cities" and if I were writing a novel instead of a simple web page I would no doubt want something equally memorable but all I could come up with was this: "Oft were heard the cries of 'You can see the windmill from here' as we traversed the footbridge between the multi-storey car park and the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre in Nottingham's city centre but we still had not set foot beneath the sails... " The structure in question is Green's Mill at Sneinton.

The web site devoted to the mill states "There is nothing very remarkable about Green's Windmill in Nottingham. It is typical of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of windmills that were once a common sight in this country" but what I find remarkable is its location. Although when built at the beginning of the 19th century it stood in the village of Sneinton, the area has now been swallowed up by the conurbation of the city and I suppose it must be unique in this respect surrounded as it is, on all sides by an urban landscape (unless of course, you know different). Access to the mill is via a path lined with trees that obscure the building but before you know it, you are standing at the foot of the mill.
Science Centre

The mill was owned and operated by a Mr Green and later his son George who was to become one of the leading mathematicians and scientists of his day. He studied among other things, the behaviour of electricity and magnetism, light and sound and devised a new way of doing mathematics. Green's Theorem and Green's functions are still used today by scientists and engineers in all branches of physical sciences. Buildings in the grounds of the windmill now house an interactive Science Centre and tell the story of George Green, the miller-mathematician. The Mill and the Science Centre together form one of Nottingham's many museums.
Inside The Mill

George Green died in 1841 but the mill was still operational until the 1860s when it was abandoned and allowed to fall into ruin. About one hundred and twenty years later (1986) after extensive restoration work, flour was once again produced at the mill. Boards on each floor of the mill are very informative and explain the milling process from start to finish and visitors can often see the machinery in action.
View Over Sneinton

From the upper levels of the five storey mill, there are some fine views - this one over Sneinton towards Colwick Wood and the National Water Sports Centre at Holme Pierrepont beyond.
Nottingham Castle

Oh and by the way, looking the other way "You can see Nottingham Castle from here" - but that's another tale; outlaws, merry men and a lad called Robin. I wonder what Dickens - and George Green -made of that. I have only scraped the surface of the story of Green's Mill here and would recommend a visit to the official web site to learn more of George Green and the history of the mill - click here to open a new window.

Part 2 of "A Tale Of Two Mills" looks at another windmill in an entirely different setting - Heage Windmill.

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