Monday, 7 December 2009

Oxnead Mill and Lock

Oxnead Mill and Lock
River Bure / Aylsham navigation
November 2009

Oxnead Mill 2009

Oxnead Mill in 1905

My slow paddle up the Aylsham Navigation brings me to the remote section, just south of Aylsham. The next mill is Oxnead, this time an unconverted building sitting next to a very pretty mill house. This was near the limit of canoe day trips from Coltishall, but the intimate nature of the winding river and its achingly lovely setting of mills drew me back on regular occasions. For once I can report that this mill looks very much like it always has.

Oxnead Mill from the lockpool 2009

It did cross my mind to put the canoes on the top of the car and explore this area from the water, but then came the realisation that getting wet in mid November is no fun. What is more, I am still very protective towards my new SLR camera and I couldnt bring myself to risk it in the restricted and damp confines of the kayak.

Oxnead Lock after the 1912 flood

This visit as therefore undertaken on foot, with a prior reccie undertaken care of Google Earth. The satellite images suggested that it might be possible to gain access to the lock from the west bank, without resorting to an uncertain welcome at the millhouse. I needn't have worried, there is a clear path beside the river which runs right beside the lock chamber.

Oxnead Lock 2009

The lock is in good condition and even the bottoms of the lock gate posts can be seen in their quoins. A slippery trip was undertaken across the wier at the top, giving access to the whole lock area which was particularly attractive under the last few golden leaves of autumn.

Oxnead Lock 2009

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