Post Mill, Finchingfield, Essex
Finchingfield, one of the most picturesque villages in East Anglia, is one of relatively few to retain one of its old mills. One of four that originally stood there in the late eighteenth century, this post mill (whose structure could be turned on a central post so that the sails always faced into the wind) had become redundant and fallen into decay by the time Michael Rothenstein painted it in 1943. Perhaps because of the attention Rothenstein drew to this state of affairs, the mill was ultimately preserved: the County Council took over its preservation in 1956, and the mill is still open to the public today. Rothenstein lived nearby at Great Bardfield and painted several of the local mills. Here, he chose to focus on the weed-choked yard behind the mill, an indicator of its long neglect. The thatched roof beyond belongs to what was once the miller's cottage.