Boston

Boston Stump (St Botolph's, Boston)

Popularly known as the Boston Stump, this jewel among English parish churches, boasts the highest tower (exclusive of spire) of any parish church in the country.

Technically, the 'Stump' is the west tower rising to 272 feet, though often the term is applied to the church as a whole. Botolph was a 7th century Saxon missionary who preached in the area and founded a church here.

Then c.1000 years later in 1612 John Cotton became vicar of St Botolph's and he became responsible for Boston's close ties to the Pilgrim Fathers and the foundation of America.

Eventually due to Cotton's radical puritan views, he found the religious intolerance he faced too much of a burden; hence he gathered a number of like-minded followers, and sailed to the New World.

The tower is 365 steps high, one step for every day of the year.

If the day is clear, you will be rewarded for your efforts by superb views over the surrounding fens, and as far afield as Lincoln.

Maud Foster Windmill

This fine example of an English tower mill was commissioned in 1819 by two brothers for the sum of £1,826 10s 6d. The brothers carried on their business as millers, corn factors and bakers until it failed in 1833 due to a succession of poor harvests when the mill was sold and the partnership dissolved.

The Ostler family took over the mill in 1914 and ran the business until 1948 but then mechanical problems made the windmill itself unusable and trade carried on for some years using electrically driven equipment until the late 1950's, when the mill was sold. By the time the present owners, the Waterfield family, arrived on the scene in June 1987, the condition of the mill had deteriorated considerably, but the aim was to put Maud Foster Mill back into working order and to use it.

Extensive repairs were undertaken, including the 3 new sails and new fan tail.

The vast majority of the work was completed in July 1988 but subsequently in 1998 two more new sails were fitted to replace the two oldest, dating from the 1970s. This brings the story up to date, but windmills are rather like the Forth Bridge...