Wembury Mill - Ravages… by Peter Ray.





Wild storms; swirling sand

With dust and salt drifted onto the tongue;

Calluses, rough on miller’s palms from

Hauling chains and hefting Hessian, yet he wrote,

So carefully inside his bible,

With God’s guiding, instructing hand,




Fields of corn

Slid from a farmstead,

Away, down rough, steep tracks

To a shingle shore,

Edged by the rush of a stream,

Where the mill huddled

Beneath the church’s protection

And braced itself for a storm’s furore…


Lashes of wind

Ripped at the walls,

Grey, of rough hewn stone,

To stifle the roar,

Dredged from the blasts of the sea,

Where salt water mixed

With the fresh from the land

And smashed against the bolted wooden mill door…


Waters then rose

Over the exposed building,

Astray, washing down to the bed

To create an awe:

Wedged drift-timber and gravel scattered,

Windows were cracked,

As ducks and fowl, screeching, drowned

And the storm through Wembury’s cluttered mill-floors tore…


a black line


Elisha Gullett worked as the miller at Wembury, Devon, in the 19th Century and also served as a clerk to the vicar; thus he wrote about a storm in November 1824, in his family bible.


a black line

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