Dyrham Park in Winter

Dyrham Park is quieter in winter as some humans don’t go out in the cold.  I am fortunate to have fur to keep me warm.IMG_0990The herd of deer certainly aren’t bothered by cold weather; they were enjoying the winter sunshine.IMG_0992After exploring the deer park I strolled down through the woods towards the big house.IMG_0996There was no chance of getting lost as there was a very big sign post.IMG_0998I didn’t see many birds but it might be that birds are afraid of bears.  IMG_0999After my walk my legs were feeling a tad tired so I stopped for a rest and enjoyed the warmth of the winter sunshine on my fur.IMG_1001In the formal gardens behind the big house a group of volunteers were busy working.IMG_1010Being a very helpful bear I decided to assist the gardeners for a while. IMG_1011It wasn’t long before my wheelbarrow was full up.IMG_1006The gardens still have some colour even in January.  The dogwood was very colourful.IMG_1015I would have liked to get a bit closer to the waterfall but there was a little fence along the lawn to remind people not to walk on it.  Walking on grass that is wet can make it all muddy. IMG_1020A hazel bush that must be in a slighty sunnier place that the other hazel bushes had lots of wiggly catkins dangling from it.IMG_1026I went into the stables but the horses weren’t at home.  The bale of hay was rather prickly to sit on for very long.IMG_1028In the shop I wondered about buying myself a hat.  My human often wears a cap; this one was rather large though and not quite me.IMG_1033The brimmed hat restricted my vision too much.IMG_1039Locally produced honey is always good.  IMG_1043I decided to buy the honey; much better for a bear than a hat.IMG_1047After so much exploring it was time for lunch.  The venison pasty was very good for bears.  Yum yum yum.IMG_1052National Trust properties always seem to have a 2nd hand book shop.  At Dyrham they keep the thin books in the sink. I hope no one turns on the tap.IMG_1055I found a very useful book to read while the humans browsed all the other books.IMG_1058In the cold store there was some food that looked quite appetising until further inspection revealed that it was made of plastic.IMG_1062The large bowls were all empty but when the house was lived in long ago they would have been used to keep things cool.IMG_1066Before going on our winter tour of the house I put my honey in a locker to keep it safe, and to prevent me from accidently swinging it into an antique vase.IMG_1069Inside the house there was work going on.  Some beetles had been nibbling away at the floor in The Great Hall, so some boards had been taken up for repairs and restoration.IMG_1073Another room was very odd.  The walls were covered in 300 year old gilt leather. IMG_1076I had a closer look at the leather.  Someone must have worked very hard decorating it, but I didn’t like it. IMG_1077After emerging from the house I was delighted to find snowdrops.  I like snowdrops; they make me feel that spring is coming soon.IMG_1082Here is a selfie of me in front of the house. IMG_1087When it was time to leave, there was a bit of a challenge for me.  Cattle grids (or perhaps deer grids) are not very bear friendly.IMG_1092Karen rescued me as the bus that takes visitors from the car park down to the house and back was approaching and needed to cross the grid. IMG_1091We didn’t get on the bus.  My humans like to walk, but my little legs were tired after such a lot of exploring so I had a lift back up to the carpark in the bear carrier.IMG_1095Dyrham Park is an interesting place for humans and bears to visit even in winter.

For more info. about Dyrham Park:  https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dyrham-park

Montacute House in winter

Not so many humans visit National Trust houses and gardens in winter, but although there aren’t any flowers, they are still very interesting.  Montacute  House has lots to see and  do .20171223_132531.jpgThe Wibbly Wobbly hedge was fascinating.  I could see all sorts of faces in the wibbly wobbly bits, with noses poking out here and there .20171223_200340.jpgBehind  the wibbly wobbly hedge there was a fence that had been designed to deter bears from getting too fat .20171223_113033178453238.jpgThe entrance to the ice house was a bit creepy.  Years ago servants from the big house had to visit the ice house to get ice to keep food cold  as fridges had not been invented .20171223_1129072109123391.jpgI peered into the deep hole where the ice collected from ponds was stored .  I was glad that there were railings as the hole looked like it went on forever .20171223_200135497296256.jpgOn the top of the house there were lots of stone animals.  Humans that live in Somerset call them ‘hunky punks’.  You can just about see them in this photo .20171223_1145101725357244.jpgI sat by the fountain for a while and watched the fish swimming around .20171223_113407I leaned over to get a closer look which got the humans rather worried that I might fall in.  Within seconds my feet were being held just in case a gust of wind blew me into the pond .20171223_1959231763560868.jpgThere were a couple of lovely little houses at each end of the garden .20171223_195807348555698.jpgSomeone had thoughtfully set up a special place for bears to rest in this one .20171223_113840Inside the other little house I made a paper lantern .20171223_114955481662944.jpgOne of the humans lifted me up to hang my creation on the lantern tree.  It was covered in fairy lights to be lit up once dark.  I would have liked to have seen Montacute in the dark with all the lights twinkling but we weren’t able to stay that long .20171223_195504136289537.jpgThis is a banqueting house where the household would sometimes have meals.  It must have been very hard work for the servants carrying everything from the big house to the garden for them .20171223_121236777374869.jpgI think I look quite important sat at the banqueting table.20171223_195147Montacute House and garden is surrounded by parkland.  In the park area I discovered a tree just right for bears to climb .20171223_1204071739976832.jpgI climbed very carefully as a fall would have resulted in me having to go in the washing machine, not one of my favourite pastimes.20171223_1952552028193646.jpg

Another tree had horses made from old tyres hanging from it.  I would have liked to have swung as high as the children using the swings but the mud below and more thoughts of the dreaded washing machine put me off. 20171223_234734.jpgOn entering the  House I had to put on some special blue shoes that looked rather like shower caps.  They were to prevent people and bears bringing dirt  into the house via their shoes .20171223_122648383691909.jpgSomeone was in the middle of a game of patience but had gone off to get a cup of tea or something .20171223_122345857168362.jpgThere were  prickly teasels on lots of the chairs in order to stop humans and bears from sitting on them.  A good deterrent; I wouldn’t want one of those stuck to my bottom !20171223_194923In one of the bedrooms there was a bath inside a cupboard .20171223_122941I was drawn to the room at the top of the house by the lovely smell coming from it.  The floor covering in the Tudor hall was made of plaited rush and for some reason smelt of honey.  20171223_1244320.jpgI spent a couple of hours exploring Montacute and ended up very hungry.  At the end of the visit I was able to tuck into a big bowl of cauliflower curry in the café .   Yum Yum Yum…….20171223_1306051773797821.jpg


For more information see:  https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/montacute-house













Allan Bank (Grasmere)

Before reaching Allan Bank I had the opportunity to sit and watch the Herdwick sheep for a while.  They fascinate me;  some of them look just like my human’s grand dog, Buster, who is a Bedlington Terrier.2017-09-05 14.44.17At the entrance to the gardens I posed for a photo with a willow squirrel, and hoped that I would see some of the real red squirrels that live in the garden.21559083_10156593917664112_1467079706145136111_nThere is a splendid view from the garden of the hills surrounding Grassmere.21617718_10156593919164112_6279813793134488086_nHere I am just before going into the house.  I could see the lake from here but forgot to get a photograph.21743303_10156593919119112_6055135191512495958_nNational Trust properties often have a room containing books for sale.  I read Rupert and the Magic Seeds while the humans browsed.  I think Rupert wears rather silly trousers.21617723_10156593918159112_1193428318581948777_nThe next room was set up as an art room, with tables suitable for full grown humans and small humans and bears to have a go at painting.  I did a quick self portrait.21743251_10156593918264112_8188677610596476755_nAfter going upstairs a guide suggested that I might like the play room.   The inhabitants were certainly very pleased to see me.21616348_10156593919349112_8375959351855927551_nI had a little ride on a wooden horse that rocked but didn’t go anywhere.21743027_10156593918374112_6039467563541670217_nThere were lots of hats to try on.   I don’t think I would make a very good police bear.21557760_10156593918609112_5503919330935027852_nTwo of the resident bears put on a special afternoon tea for me.  21751398_10156593918549112_738024538769168282_nBefore saying my farewells I tried out the blackboard.21616204_10156593918504112_5703185503387161730_nAllan Bank has a special room for knitting.  I did a few more rows of someone else’s knitting and would have continued but the humans said we needed to get some cake before the cafe closed.  I like cake.21616130_10156593918664112_1757181676148201231_nThere was also a great selection of games in the knitting room that visitors can play.  The croquet set was just the right size for me; I struggle somewhat with full size croquet mallets.21762192_10156593918844112_3815827628223995753_nNext to the games table there were lots of knitted animals from the Beatrix Potter stories.  They all seemed very busy but Jemima Puddleduck  quacked a few times to me.21617585_10156593918759112_5909433856682224540_nCuddly squirrels were for sale in the next room.  Unfortunately I didn’t get to see a wild red squirrel (though the humans have promised to take me to Brownsea Island oneday where red squirrels also live).   I started reading ‘Squirrel Nutkin’  but didn’t finish as didn’t want to miss cake. 21557510_10156593918904112_3960484443673277051_nWe made our own cups of tea and put some money in the donation box, then bought some cake at the cafe counter.21762170_10156593917909112_8964648287786139318_nIt was a huge piece of very yummy carrot cake.  21617616_10156593917769112_5706970000453997021_nOn the way out I posed for another photo.2017-09-05 14.41.03

I very much enjoyed Allan Bank as there was so much there to do.  It is a great place for bears and human children.

For more information about Allan Bank see: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/allan-bank-and-grasmere

Speke Hall

I felt rather sleepy following the car journey to Liverpool so I was delighted to find beds in the kitchen garden.  I had a ‘power nap’ for ten minutes.IMG_0901Refreshed from my nap I inspected the produce.  The squashes were growing very well.IMG_0902When we reached the entrance to Speke Hall I paused for a ‘selfie’.  Speke Hall is very old; it was built in Tudor times.IMG_0904There is a courtyard in the middle of the house, and just above the door I noticed a hole in the eaves.  The guide said this used to be used for ‘eavesdropping’ or in other words listening in on the conversations of visitors to get some idea about whether they were safe to let into the house.IMG_0911The walls between the timber frames of the house are made of ‘wattle & daub’.  Wattle and daub is made by weaving twigs with wet soil, clay, sand, animal dung and straw. (source:Wikipedia)   IMG_0908The inside of the house is mostly Victorian as the house was renovated and updated over the years.  There was a banquet laid out in the dining room including some rather delicious looking desserts.IMG_0913I was pleased to see fire hoses at the ready in case of fire.IMG_0916In one room behind wooden panelling there was a ladder leading to a ‘priest hole’.  A priest would have lived in the secret room at the time when it was against the law to follow the catholic religion.   IMG_0917In the kitchen downstairs I was very tempted by a large salmon until I realised it was plastic!IMG_0931Before leaving the house I decided to try on a few hats.  I think this one makes me look very important and a bit silly at the same time.IMG_0927I felt more at home in the cap, and the humans said I looked quite ‘dapper’ in it.IMG_0928The mop cap clearly isn’t right for bears.IMG_0929After leaving the house we went outside to explore the gardens.IMG_0934Here I am at the back of the house.IMG_0936Beyond the formal garden there are some woods including a willow sculpture which I explored.IMG_0946I played a little tune using a giant glockenspiel, but could only reach the bottom three notes.IMG_0949I should have wondered about the possibility of giants when I measured my height.  The sign behind my head said ‘baby giant’.IMG_0945I clambered around on some big tree trunks, one of which was inhabited by fairies (you may notice the door).IMG_0943It was quite hard work for a small bear.IMG_0939Just as well I found a chair to rest in, though the chair was exceptionally large.IMG_0950The very large chair suddenly made sense when just around the corner a house came into sight.  Someone was sound asleep inside, snoring very loudly.  Someone with very big feet.  A giant!  I didn’t hang around for long in case he woke up, he may have been a ‘big friendly giant’ but I wasn’t taking any chances.IMG_0954Giant feet need huge shoes!IMG_0960Once out of the woods I explored the maze, keeping an eye on the woods in case the giant had woken up.IMG_0962All the excitement made me quite hungry.  Wet Nelly yum yum yum.21369437_1473932956034098_5053894757992462935_n

For more information about Speke Hall see:  https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/speke-hall-garden-and-estate

Making Pizza

To begin I fried some garlic in olive oil and added a strained tin of tomatoes.  This was then left to simmer.IMG_0844While the tomato sauce was simmering I chopped up all the other toppings.IMG_0853Grated the cheese, taking care not to grate my paws.IMG_0863By this time the simmering tomatoes were ready to be blended into a sauce. IMG_0867My human bought the pizza dough for me earlier in the day at a local baker’s shop.  It smelt jolly good.IMG_0871As I rolled out the dough it seemed almost as though it was alive as it kept springing into different shapes!  I would have liked to pick it up and toss it about as I have seen happen in pizzerias but didn’t want to risk getting dough all stuck in my fur.IMG_0882Before putting on the topping I carefully brushed olive oil all over the base.  IMG_0886Next I covered the base with the various toppings.IMG_0890At this point it things went a little bit wrong.  I forgot to put flour on the board and struggled to lift the pizza.  Sorted it in the end using the bottoms of three cake tins.  My human put the pizza into the oven as I didn’t want to scorch my fur.  The oven was on its highest setting (250c fan) with a special pizza stone in it onto which my pizza was placed.  My human says we need a pizza peel to do this next time (a flat bit of metal with a handle)IMG_0892I must say the final result was delicious.IMG_0895

I hope my human buys more pizza dough soon!

The fresh pizza dough was purchased at:  http://www.marksbread.co.uk

Great Chalfield Manor Garden

I had some difficulty seeing the Manor House due to the splendid bulrushes  growing outside.  I paused to take a ‘selfie’ in front of them.20170813_161104After showing our National Trust cards I had a conversation with a resident horse.IMG_0794People live in the Manor House so some of the gardens are ‘private’.  They have one of the excellent topiary houses all to themselves.IMG_0802From a distance I thought that there were some strange creatures in the meadow; however on getting closer discovered that they were piles of grass drying in the sunshine to make hay.IMG_0804A dog lives in the garden though he didn’t say much.IMG_0810The Manor House looks very pretty with roses growing against it.  IMG_0814I had a look in the well but was very cautious not to get too close.  I think it might be very deep and not a good place for bears.IMG_0818Some people were picnicking next to this topiary house; we have cut them off the photo.  Topiary houses are good places for bears and I think human children probably like them too.IMG_0821It was quite warm during our visit so I thought about cooling my paws in the little stream,  then remembered that getting soggy isn’t a good idea for stuffed bears like me.IMG_0823There is a special little house for storing apples.  I spent a few minutes in the rocking chair and had a good look around.IMG_0826High up in the middle of the ceiling was a very big wasps nest.  Fortunately the wasps had all moved out and it was empty.  I don’t like wasps;  I do however likes bees, as they make honey.IMG_0830There were lots of very big vintage cars parked in the front court yard.IMG_0831They were all Alvis cars; the Alvis owners club were having a picnic.20170813_221128A few of the Alvis cars had ornaments on the bonnets.  I really liked the rabbit and asked the humans if we could put one on our Skoda Fabia.IMG_0839My favourite Alvis car was the TC100 Grey Lady.  The owner very kindly let me sit in for a while.  IMG_0834Any visit to a National Trust property would not be complete without a visit to the tea room for cake.  Unfortunately the tea room at Chalfield had closed when we got there but tea and biscuits were still available self service.  We put some money in the honesty box.20170813_221024There were loads of packets of biscuits.  I opted for the oat cookies.20170813_160047Karen made some tea and I sat in the sunshine to eat my biscuits.  They were nearly as good as cake.20170813_155646

After returning home my humans found out that Chalfield Manor was used in the filming of the BBC series Poldark as Killewarren, the home of the Penvenens.

For more information about Great Chalfield Manor & Gardens see: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/great-chalfield-manor-and-garden

For information about the Alvis Owner’s club: http://alvisoc.org/



Upfest Art Tour

I live in an area of Bristol where every year artists arrive from all over the world and paint sides of buildings and the shutters on the shops, as well as artwork on big boards.  Yesterday evening I went off for a toddle round to see some of the permanent works of art.  Here is a selection…

I love the purple lion on Lion Stores.IMG_0777

Bright and cheerful design on the florist shop.


There were lots of images of boats along this wall.  The pirates looked very scary making someone ‘walk the plank’.


This is the shutter on the butcher’s shop.   Thought provoking.  My human doesn’t eat much meat, and when she does it is outdoor reared, so she liked this one.




I nearly got stuck in the railings looking at this one.


Lots going on here…


I am a small bear but even if I was big this would still be a huge work of art.  The eyes look very real.


If you look to the left of ‘THE GALLERY’ you might notice a picture painted by Banksy when he was 4 years old 😉   IMG_0734

This one is thought provoking.


I see pink elephants but I haven’t had any ale!


A good way to cheer up a dreary doorway, though the bird looks a bit grumpy.


This one is very thought provoking and made me feel rather sad.  The ice in the Artic is slowly melting meaning that one day these bears may not have anywhere to live.


If you’d like to know more about Upfest have a look at the website:



Snowshill in summer

My last visit to Snowshill took place in February when the ground was covered in snow and all the snowdrops were in bloom.  The garden had been opened just for two days for humans to see the beautiful display of snowdrops, and the house, which is full of interesting things, wasn’t open.  My humans decided to visit again in summer, and I was jolly pleased to go along with them.  I was very hungry when we arrived so before exploring tucked into a tasty bowl of vegetable curry.20170729_124908We then set off along the path to explore the estate and the manor house.  The house used to belong to Charles Wade, who started collecting things when he was seven years old.  In 1951 Mr Wade gave the house and its contents to the National Trust.  The first interesting item that I spotted was a windmill with lots of little wooden men that moved around as the sails turned.IMG_0609The windmill is a replica of the original one which is kept inside to protect it from the weather.  The windmill was on a tall post, not on top of my head as in this photo!IMG_0615Further along I was delighted to find a special area for bears, though the humans said it was for children really.IMG_0621I spent a while exploring; the humans couldn’t see where I was until I popped up over the fence.IMG_0628I was very pleased to find a little bear shelter in the woods too.IMG_0624In the orchard I climbed up into one of the trees to get a closer look at the shiny red apples.IMG_0639After walking up through the cottage gardens I clambered up onto a wall to have a look at all the doves sat on top of the dove cote.IMG_0651I forgot to ‘mind my head’ in a couple of places but as my head is quite soft luckily it didn’t hurt much.IMG_0655There was a bear sized typewriter of the sort that would have been used during the first world war.  I like being able to see the type hammers going up and down hitting the paper on old-fashioned typewriters.  IMG_0658Here I am outside the main Manor House.  Mr Wade didn’t live inside the Manor House, he had lived in a much smaller building in the garden called The Priest’s House.  Over 400 years ago the house and gardens were part of an Abbey.IMG_0674This is the bathroom in the Priest’s house.  The bath looked very deep; Mr Wade must have been able to sit in it with the water right up to his neck.IMG_0663In this photo Mr Wade’s box bed is just behind me.  IMG_0665We went outside again and I had a little rest as my legs were starting to feel a bit tired.IMG_0681The model village next the ‘harbour’ was full of tiny houses too small for bears.  They were replicas as the ones that Mr Wade made are kept inside nowadays to stop them being damaged by the weather.IMG_0697When we went into the manor house I found the original houses stored high up on some shelves.IMG_0703There were several trunks inside the house with very complex locking mechanisms. This one is over 400 years old.  I think it must have been very difficult to open without the key.IMG_0702There weren’t any bears on display anywhere though I did find some other ancient animals and dolls locked up in a glass case.  They all looked a bit worried.IMG_0706Upstairs we found an amazing display of very old bicycles.  I rather like this one, the seat looks just the right size for me.  Unfortunately as everything  is so very old I wasn’t able to try it out.IMG_0709Here I am in front of a huge clock that was telling the wrong time!20170729_143630I don’t know whether Mr Wade was able to play any musical instruments but he certainly collected many.  20170729_144255I wondered whether all the buckets were there in case of fire or whether Mr Wade just liked buckets!20170729_144136 I tried to have a conversation with chap but I don’t think anyone was inside!20170729_144932This is not a bear sized helmet!20170729_153823After being inside the helmet I needed some fresh air so went outside to explore in the  kitchen garden.  The yellow courgettes were growing well.20170729_150101(0)There were some courgettes being sold on the produce table but my humans forgot to buy them; I think they got distracted by the lovely sweet peas in the bucket.20170729_145652Sheep live in the field outside.  They had all recently been shorn and so were looking quite thin.20170729_150305I’m not sure what this plant is, but the bees certainly like it.  20170729_145829Wandering back up to the entrance I managed to get caught up in a burdock plant.  The humans managed to free me;  then I carried a few seeds along with me a for while before brushing them off my fur. 20170729_150845(0)This was a good visit food wise.  Before leaving it was necessary to have afternoon tea.  Yum, yum, yum.20170729_152042

Snowshill is a very interesting place to visit for humans and bears (there are many fascinating objects in the house that I haven’t mentioned here).   Well worth visiting.

To see my post about Snowshill in the Snow see:


For more information about Snowshill see:




The Needles (New Battery & Old Battery)

Another interesting place to visit on the Isle of Wight is The Needles Old Battery and New Battery.  Actually both places are old, but one is much older.  Before exploring the buildings I climbed up to the viewpoint near The New Battery to have a look at The Needles, and they do look quite sharp and spiky.IMG_0220I then noticed a sign stating that we were at a site that had been used for testing rockets.IMG_0232Here I am looking at the place where rockets were tested.  Their engines were started up but they didn’t actually take off here, they were strapped into special gantries to keep them still.  If everything worked the rockets were taken to Australia to be launched into space.IMG_0227I spotted a couple of rabbits hopping about but they didn’t wave.  I think they are quite cautious when it comes to bears.IMG_0237The rockets gathered large amounts of information about space. A Black Arrow rocket launched the first British satellite.  The  satellite is no longer used but it still orbits around the earth twice a day.IMG_0249Here I am sat on a life size scale model of the Prospero satellite.IMG_0256In another room there was some equipment which was used for gathering information during the tests.    I climbed up for a closer look but I didn’t touch!IMG_0265Here I am in the control room. It isn’t actually the original equipment, but I think it looks quite impressive.IMG_0243The Old Battery, which was built in 1861  by the Royal Engineers, and their site office was the first building constructed.  IMG_0278Before going into The Cartridge Store I had to put on special clothing made of calico to ensure that I didn’t take any gunpowder out of the building.IMG_0268I was very excited to find an entrance to a tunnel leading to an 1899 searchlight emplacement.  Here I am running back to the humans to tell them about it!IMG_0277I climbed down to the tunnel using a spiral staircase fitted by the National Trust; access used to be via a ladder.IMG_0283The tunnel was very long and quite a walk for a small bear.IMG_0284I was quite relieved to see the light at the end of the tunnel.IMG_0303There was an excellent view of The Needles from The Searchlight Emplacement.  Fortunately I didn’t get my head stuck.IMG_0288The tearoom is situated inside The Signal Station.  The hot quiche lorraine warmed me up as a cold wind had blown up outside.  IMG_0307I managed to persuade the humans to buy me some cake too 🙂IMG_0320Yum yum yum……. tea soaked fruit cakeIMG_0317Here I am in front of The Signal Station in the sheltered pathway to the position finding cell.IMG_0328There was a special instrument in the Position Finding Cell for gathering information about the whereabouts of ships and the direction in which they were travelling.IMG_0330The weather was changing and I was quite worried that my fur could get a soaking so I had one last look at rather splendid Needles before we hurried off down the hill towards the car.IMG_0322I stopped briefly to admire the coloured sands of Alum Bay, which is situated next to The Needles.IMG_0341

All in all a great adventure – especially The Tunnel 🙂

Horace the Alresford Bear 27/4/17

For further information see: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-needles-old-battery-and-new-battery

Bembridge Windmill (Isle of Wight)

I was very fortunate to recently visit a very old windmill, over 270 years old; the only windmill left on the Isle of Wight.IMG_0198After showing National Trust membership cards to a man in a hut  I bought a souvenir guidebook.IMG_0196I had a good look at the top of the windmill, where there is a big wheel and a wooden screw called a ‘Worm Screw’.   There used to be chains that hung down and the miller would have used the chains to turn the the top of the mill,  known as ‘The Cap’ to face the wind.IMG_0195I also had a good look at the four wooden frames (before posing for a photo by the door).  The frames would have been covered in canvas sailcloth, and a small boy known as a ‘Nipper’ had the job of climbing out onto the frames to attach the cloth.   I don’t think I would want to be a nipper.IMG_0114Once inside the windmill I set about climbing up to the top.  This took me quite a while.IMG_0139At the top there was a trap door.   I was a tad worried that it might suddenly open up so I decided not to walk over it.  Sacks of grain used to be hoisted up through the trap door.IMG_0143 Grain would have been tipped out of the sacks into this huge wooden bin.  The grain then traveled downwards through canvas chutes to the hopper above the mill stones on the floor below.IMG_0149There was an enormous wooden wheel with an iron band around the outside; known as ‘The Great Brake Wheel’.  The miller would have applied the brake by pulling on a rope (which was attached to a lever) which was passed down on the outside of the mill.  The Great Brake Wheel was used to slow down or stop ‘The Wallower’ (the horizontal wheel)  which drove the upright shaft.  IMG_0148I carefully went back down the wooden ladder to ‘The Stone Floor’ where the millstones are housed.  I got a bit distracted here as there were some windows, so I climbed up to have a closer look at the sail frames.IMG_0141One of my humans took a photo of me from the outside!IMG_0157The next floor down is ‘The Machine Floor’, with the huge upright shaft which takes power from ‘The Wallower’ at the top of the mill to the great spur wheel.   Here I am sitting on the leather belting drive having a good look at everything.IMG_0174Downstairs there are two millstones that make me look like I am even smaller than I am.IMG_0182There were also some weights which were impossible for me to lift.IMG_0186I climbed onto the scales but they didn’t even move.  This must mean that I haven’t eaten too many cakes yet.IMG_0133On the ground floor I was pleased to find some miller style clothing for people and bears to try on.  I rather like the hat but I am not sure about the smock, it was a tad large.IMG_0121Before leaving the mill I had a go at milling some grain using some small bear sized millstones.IMG_0129

After a visit to a mill I usually purchase a bag of flour milled there, but Bembridge Windmill hasn’t been used for milling since 1913, so that wasn’t possible!

A very interesting place to visit.

Horace the Alresford Bear 26/4/17

For more information about Bembridge Mill:  https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bembridge-windmill