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From Landmark to Local - History is everywhere!

Buckingham Palace

Yesterday I was at Buckingham Palace, one of the most recognisable landmarks in London and Britain. Today I've been discovering history much more local to home in the shape of a tiny abandoned flour mill in a nearby forest.

Reflecting on my two visits, taken within 24 hours of each other, it occurs to me how different these experiences have been. Each has taken me to the heart of our recent history and yet also to different extremes of the social scale. Buckingham Palace literally glistens with gold whilst the mill stands as it was left, over 100 years ago, minus anything wooden that could easily be used for firewood in the severe winter in which it was abandoned.

Knowles Mill.  Abandoned mill near Bewdley, Wyre Forest, Worcestershire UK.  

There's a massive contrast between my ticketed, almost chaperoned, visit to Buckingham Palace with it's airport security rituals and priceless artefacts behind barriers and the deserted, fully explorable, mill.

Buckingham Palace has the fame factor of course, it's the celebrity of the two but the up-close and personal nature of the old, abandoned mill sitting next to the brook which once fed it's water wheel, had me entranced. I sat quietly drinking in the sight of the mill and it's cottage which used to house the family who operated it over 100 years ago. This is not a luxury afforded to you in the crowded rooms of Buckingham Palace.

Do the big sites, absolutely, do them! They are important, they are interesting, events of great significance have happened there but don't leave out the adventure of the smaller, more intimate places. Go explore and you will come face to face with the toil and sweat of your ancestors.


Written by Philippa Brewell for British History Tours

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