Horsey Wind Pump

The Fens and wetlands of eastern England has depended on a system of pumps and drains for three hundred years. They are electric now, having also used steam and diesel engines, but they used to be powered by wind. Horsey was one of the wind-powered pumps.

This mill was built in 1912 on the site of a previous one, which had become dangerously unsafe, and was assisted by steam and in 1939 a diesel was fitted. In 1943 the diesel took over completely after the mill was struck by lightening and in 1957 an electric pump was fitted.


A bench after my own heart, and a marker

This bench shows how much water the drainage removes. You can see that from the level of the water in the drain of the header picture – the water level is considerably higher than the path – higher than the line on the seat suggests. I think I read somewhere that the drainage reduces the water level by seven feet, which seems about right.

There’s not much to see, as the mill is still under repair, but it was reasonably interesting and there were lots of dragonflies in the garden by the toilets.


I learnt a new word in the toilets – cubical. It means cube-shaped. I didn’t know that, though it makes sense. It wouldn’t show up on the spell checker if you were trying to type cubicle.

There was also a disappointing lack of Marsh Harriers and Cranes in the toilet.

As for the baby changing table, it is OK as long as nobody needs access to a cubicle.

Julia has suggested that toilet interior shots might not be considered a bit strange, particularly by people who are using them at the time. I suppose she has a point…

I’m tentatively identifying these as Common Darters because they are roughly the right colour and there were lots of them.


17 thoughts on “Horsey Wind Pump

  1. tootlepedal

    An interesting post. I am glad that things didn’t go pear shaped. I must say i was a bit disappointed not to find a pump that was powered by horses farting but that was because I had misread the title.


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