|The lending library inside Boot mill|
The best way to get to it is to drive to Ravenglass, then catch the 'Ratty' steam train to Dalegarth. Stop for their famous Cumberland sausage, egg and chips - then walk the quarter of a mile to Boot. At the end of Boot, you'll find the mill - probably with Dave King the miller sitting outside and Stanley the cat 'on guard' by the mill entrance. Inside you can enjoy a tour of the old mill and buy any number of items from ice creams to antiques dug up locally. And don't worry if Dave's not around - you'll find an honesty pot on the counter (it would be inconceivable that any money would be taken from the pot). The library has a hundred or so books and are borrowed by the 200 villagers or the tourists staying at the campsite down the road.
|Boot Mill, Eskdale|
Originally, the mill was owned by the county council and was an 'official' library. But when the council sold the mill to a Trust, the new miller - Dave King - decided to keep the library going. He collects the out-of-date or remaindered library books from Whitehaven library and puts them in his mill. You can borrow them for as long as you like. I'd recommend sitting in the mill garden or by the river to read a good book on a summer's afternoon. To be honest, it's never very clear where the mill building ends and the surrounding mill garden starts. The two wonderfully merge into each other. If only every building was like that. I've been in the mill photographing before and seen a variety of wildlife wander in and out.
|Dave King in his 'office' at Boot mill|
* Unless of course you know differently. If you know of a 'curious' library that's different from the crowd then please let me know.