Coombe, near Morwenstowe.
An open edition giclee print. 22 x 14.5 inches approximately
Coombe is a tiny hamlet in Cornwall near to Morwenstowe. It is now owned by the Landmark Trust who have beautifully restored the cottages and lets them as holiday accommodation. My golden retriever, Bramble, and I enjoyed painting here as she had the freedom to explore and paddle in the brook that babbles through the hamlet. I painted my wife Gina as the goose girl!
The water wheel used to turn the granite mill stones to make flour. When I painted this scene the machinery was still in place and the mill was as it had been the day milling ceased, complete with sacks and grain. Some of the beams were ships timbers and the banisters were oars salvaged from the nearby beach at Duck Pool. The mill hosted a large colony of bats that swooped and weaved as we climbed the stairs.
Mr Francis looked after the hamlet and had been brought up there as his father worked in the village saw mill. He remembered that, as a lad, when they cut timber it was hauled out of the steep Coombe valley using a traction engine. The traction engine struggled on its own so shire horses were harnessed to the engine to haul the heavy load to the top of the hill.