Okay, this is my entry for today's WidWed. The subject is 'In the Countryside', which I take to mean that we don't have to show a lot of the countryside itself. So I thought I'd show you a country building - a bit of picture postcard prettiness - especially as the longer I live in Hampshire the more I realise just how many small-scale industrial remains there are scattered around the countryside. Cottage industries, that is.
This ultra bijou residence is an old fulling mill straddling the River Arle. I'd hate to think how much you'd have to shell out for it these days, though personally I wouldn't want to live in a place where the river flows immediately under the kitchen floor (yes, literally, it comes down the other side of the house, under and out through those two drain-type things to the right of the front door). Without straining a brain cell I can think of at least 6 other wonderfully beautiful mill houses within a mile of where I live.
For those who are interested, I I've put a description of the fulling process at the bottom of this blip.
Many thanks to BobsBlips for hosting. And a happy Wednesday evening to you all xx
Fulling is the process by which cloth is washed, cleaned, beaten and thickened. In the time the Fulling Mill was operating, the raw cloth would have been placed along with fuller's earth (a form of clay) in large baskets. These would then have been lowered into the water flowing through the mill. The baskets were then pressed, initially by human feet, and later by large water operated hammers (fullers' stocks) which beat the cloth.
When sufficiently cleaned and shrunk, the cloth would have been stretched out with tenterhooks on a large frame and the nap raised by dragging heads of teasel across the cloth. The final finishing touch had the miller trimming the nap with a large pair of fuller's shears.