February: Windmill Hill Twilight

There are two Changing Seasons challenges over at  Cardinal Guzman’s.  It’s a monthly challenge and if you want to join in you can find the rules below.

For my February photo I’ve chosen this recent shot of Windmill Hill. I caught it – in this single shot – just as the sun was going down. The landscape is still wintery, but the strange light suggests the possibility of spring. Also the windmill seems more impressive than it usually does in broad daylight. It’s good to see its mysterious side; we actually know very little about how it looked and functioned in this, its 17th century phase, only that it was probably struck by lightning.

Our local archaeologist also thinks it may be standing on or near the site of an ancient trackway, although recent trial excavations have yielded no evidence to support this. But never mind. I anyway like the glimpse (far right) of the swiftly departing small figure in blue. It rather reminds me of Daphne du Maurier’s Don’t Look Now. And yes I know that was set in Venice, but the residual horror is enough to resonate here in Shropshire and so evoke the February chills.

You can see January’s Changing Seasons HERE. In this series I am featuring Windmill Hill and the nearby Linden Field where the world’s first modern Olympian Games were held from the 1850s onwards. The Much Wenlock Games inspired the present day Olympic Movement, a fact that is now recognized. That’s a big claim to fame for our very small town, and I think it’s worth bragging about at every opportunity. Windmill Hill provided a natural auditorium back in Victorian times. Spectators and competitors came from all over Britain, and from the 1860s they could arrive by train, the station conveniently sited beside the Linden Field where most of the events took place.


Please visit the Cardinal to see his and others’ changing seasons. And then join in, if not this month, then next.

Here are the Cardinal’s Rules:

«The Changing Seasons 2016» is a blogging challenge with two versions: the original (V1) which is purely photographic and the new version (V2) where you can allow yourself to be more artistic and post a painting, a recipe, a digital manipulation, or simply just one photo that you think represents the month. Anyone with a blog can join this challenge and it’ll run throughout 2016. It doesn’t matter if you couldn’t join the first month(s), late-comers are welcomed. These are the rules, but they’re not written in stone – you can always improvise, mix & match to suit your own liking:

These are the rules for Version 1 (The Changing Seasons V1):

  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery.
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.

These are the rules for Version 2 (The Changing Seasons V2):

  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
  • Each month, post one photo (recipe, painting, drawing, whatever) that represents your interpretation of the month.
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!


35 thoughts on “February: Windmill Hill Twilight

  1. I was just thinking about this challenge today. I must join in – its a good way of recording the changes in the seasons at a specific place. I like your photo and the thoughts it has evoked for you. From your writing I really get a sense Shropshire’s dark side as well as the picture postcard aspects.

    1. That’s good to know, Suzanne – that the darker strands are coming through. It’s easy to fall into the ‘perfect’ or ‘quaint’ country living trap when showing off the place. There’s an interesting contrast in view between Henry James’ perceptions of Wenlock and Thomas Hardy’s. Both were guests at different times of the local gentry, the Milnes Gaskells. In his published account James concentrates on the scenic and antique, and on gentrified living. Hardy, meanwhile, was apparently very upset by the poverty and dreadful state of the limestone quarrymen. Same town. Same era. Two great writers…

      1. I had ‘Escape to the Country’ on the TV in the background when I wrote that comment. Your post was a refreshing relief from all that bucolic peace and quiet. I know from my visits to the UK the peace and quiet is only side of the story. There is often something haunted and grim lurking amongst the ruins.
        I like you description of the work of Hardy and James. The literary history of the UK is also another layer upon the landscape. Over here it tends to be more the landscape painters of the past that have influenced our view of the environment.

    1. It’s quite a landmark above the town too – a reminder of an age of wind (and also of water power in our other former corn mills). It would be good if it would remind us to rethink these power sources. Many Shropshire folk are very anti-wind turbines, saying they spoil the view. A bit short sighted I feel when the state of the planet is at stake.

  2. great shot Tish not least because you’ve made the viewer the third point of the triangle and so we are there rather than just looking at windmill hill –
    p.s. very interesting challenge too – keep meaning to join but get distracted on the trail of all those memes out there

  3. I must still be in happy frame of mind after all that Carnival colour, Tish, because I just saw a child scampering off down the hill. 🙂 🙂 But I haven’t got enough energy left for the challenge. 😦

  4. Beautiful and evocative photo, Tish. And I love the story. I know the name of Much Wenlock because I have traveled there, and every time I hear it, I think there’s nowhere that has more interesting place names than England.

  5. What a beautiful picture, Tish.

    The mill looks ominous — the tiny blue figure appears to have managed a lucky escape from its menacing clutches — but the possibility of spring indeed softens the overall mood.

    Your challenge is inspiring. I’ve recently gotten my first ever (hand-me-down from my late dad) camera; maybe I should put it to use.

    1. Hello, Emma. I bet your dad would be delighted if you used his camera. I think that would be v. nice. A connection. Go for it! And thanks for visiting my windmill. I use the word ‘my’ loosely in that it is across the road from my house. I’m glad we met at Ark’s. He’s a good host.

  6. I think you know that I’m a fan of your work. I love this shot and I think the challenge would be interesting, but I like that you wove Daphne du Maurier in. My first introduction to her work was when I was maybe 11 or 12 years old and my father took me to a local production of Rebecca. I’ve been hooked ever since.
    As always, you have left me inspired.

    1. That’s so very nice to know, Thom. I’m now thinking that you could do quite a lot with the elements in my post?! I like Daphne du Maurier’s dark undercurrents too.

  7. I’m so glad to see you’ve joined the challenge … and that’s a perfect pictures for this month, too. It really captures the particular naked but waiting mood of February. Not to mention it’s a really excellent photograph all by itself 🙂

  8. I love the photo, Tish. This remarkable tower is set in a most beautiful setting that you caught in a perfect light. I think I would have known it to be in February even without your mentioning it.

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