Keswick Mill and a bridge full of texture and inspirational hues…..

part of Keswick Mill

What a change in the weather….after a week that’s seen some very welcome Spring sunshine and blue skies today I’ve woken up to a right wet and dreary, very overcast morning, all dark grey clouds and a cold bitter rain……so some reminiscing about last weekend seems to be more than a little welcome….

On Sunday we decided to head outdoors quite early for a weekend walk as the sun was right out and after being photographed in my shawl (and having to strip off somewhat as it was a whole lot warmer out than I’d been expecting thinking) we decided to walk up to Keswick Mill (you miss out the “w” and pronounce it Kez-ick)….you can often see the mill in some of my pictures when I’m traipsing about on the marshes.  It’s really nice and quiet along here and it used to be one of our favourite walks but then it just got too doo-pooey so we’ve not actually been up this way for well over a year now.

From time to time there’s the rumble of the train as the track runs out from Norwich station over the marsh and common land, but for the most part it’s peaceful, with just the sound of bird song.

view across the weir

Last time we headed out here the fields were all full of horses but not a one was to be seen today, so no ear scritching and muzzle rubbing today.

This is a lovely view across the river to the dovecote.  A few Winter’s ago the ice and snow really piled up around the sides of the river , stupidly I didn’t always bring a camera out with me but it looked amazing……the river is pretty fast flowing (originally the mill was a water mill) and the bridge I’m standing on to take these pictures is very low to the water, the bridge has at least 3 arches underneath and I guess there must be some sort of weir for the water to rush in through so quickly…it’s a bit noisy but lovely to stand and listen to.

Those of you with keen eyes may spot what looks like a couple of sheep grazing in the pasture behind the out-building, these aren’t real sheep but rather “folly” sheep, garden ornaments that had me fooled.

across from Keswick Mill

This is a closer picture of the old dovecote, the building underneath was originally a cattle shed though I’m thinking it’s now all spruced up inside….how amazing would it be to have this as a studio!

I’ve not been up here for really ages so I’m not sure what it was like when the marshes flooded last year, I’m suspecting the water must have rose a fair bit.

I love the colour of the brickwork in the building and looking of it am reminded so much of Felix Ford’s lovely pictures of the colourwork in the house where she lives and which she used to knit her Crofthoose hat.  Check out her blog for a lovely interview with Ella Gordon.

mill bridge lichen

I love the old bridge that goes over the river, it’s a really beautiful pinkish, warm brown coloured brick, with flecks of green moss and mustard lichens on the side and then these rose petal pink lichens on top….though they look a bit white in the pictures.

It’s quite exhilarating to lean over the side a little and look down, the sound of the water rushing beneath you, you can really feel the power that would once have been harnessed to mill grain.

pink lichens

I couldn’t stop touching the stone, it’s so worn that in places it’s almost smooth, but then there are weathered rough spots amidst the texture of moss and lichen…it feels wonderful, and combined with all the different hues and shades…it’s hard to stand here and not feel all inspired.

I’m not there yet with my knitting but the clogs are turning with ideas to combine some of these beautiful shades with some of those wave like ripples of the river.

river fish

The water wheels of the Mill are long since gone but if you’re at all interested this is a link to a page detailing the history of the Mill.

We’d already noticed at how clear the water looked, no murky depths of bubbling algae and such, walking back there’s a smaller little bridge, my boyfriend looked down as something caught his attention in the water…….and there in the stream were 3 fish.  The biggest one was getting on for 2 foot long, and the smaller ones were nearly a foot and a half….I have no idea what sort of fish they were but it felt quite exciting to see “wild” fish in our river….I knew there must be fish about as the other year I saw an otter swimming about not all that far away and friends have told me they’ve seen a otter up in the river at the UEA.

The fish were just letting the slight current of this side stream off the the river gently move them along, the occasional flick of their tails and bodies, but they weren’t moving fast and seemed to enjoy the sunlight that was dancing over the water above them.

At the start of the year I mentioned Keswick mill and was contacted by a lady who’d seen the blog and remembered living there in the early ninties as a student…so Good Morning Karen, this post is really for you.


*In case you don’t know, Felix is also Knitsonik, and a couple of years ago she wrote a truly inspirational and amazing book about stranded colour knitting which I bought because I really like her method of being colour inspired by everyday items or views or buildings….I think Felix talks about her lovely red brick house in the KnitBritish post Edinburgh Yarn Festival podcast where Felix and Louise Scollay are chatting about how amazing the festival was…sadly I wasn’t able to go to the festival but a listen to Louise and Felix natter away over toast and tea was a second best.


9 thoughts on “Keswick Mill and a bridge full of texture and inspirational hues…..

  1. What a beautiful stretch of river… there are some lovely old watermills on the rivers in Norfolk aren’t there? Those are Pike just hanging in the current, waiting for unsuspecting small Roach and Dace to come by I imagine… there are some champion Pike in the Yare but these are just little ‘Jacks’. We also woke this morning to grey, cold rain but tomorrow looks promising! Let’s hope so…

    1. Yes it’s really beautiful here, but I’m sure there are a couple of watermills around Wenhaston which are really pretty.
      Thank you for letting me know what the fishies are, hmm pike…don’t think we’ll be paddling here anytime soon!

  2. Ah, what a lovely surprise, thank you. Nice memories. I’ve been haunting your old blog posts and really enjoying all the local pics (those bluebell woods!) I’m not a knitter or embroiderer so I’m quite in awe of all the beautiful things you create. But I do have to get up at 3am most nights to give a tummy rub to a feline person before he will eat a snack and go outside to make his rounds. So I fully appreciate your life with the handsome Bernard!

    1. Hi Karen, glad you enjoyed the Mill pictures….we’re planning to head up to the UEA woods in a couple of weeks once we see a few more bluebells out and about.
      Bernard has been a bit better lately regarding middle of the night tummy rubs though now when he jumps back up on the bed I get poked and prodded til I wake and then have to scritch and coase while he nests up against my chest or tummy….
      Thank you for the nice comments about the things I make, think weeding in the garden is planned for today as it’s glorious out there in the Spring sunshine x

  3. Beautiful photos, your area of the country isn’t one I’ve spent much time in, although I stayed in a B&B in Wenhaston last year in early November! We woke up to snow yesterday so it’s nice to see your pretty photos.

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