The Fulling Mill building has been renovated and is used as office space. Very professionally done, I’m sure, but some of the character was carted away with the old timberwork. Cross the ford and you are into Singlers Marsh, a conservation area with formerly pollarded and coppiced willows, long horn cattle, and the flash of a kingfisher. Through a gate and there’s a stretch of park with the river hidden for a while behind garden hedges.
Past Singlers Bridge and into Welwyn, the Mimram runs behind some attractive old houses that were being redeveloped into a faux-authentic complex for the well-heeled. The magnificent cedar tree below has been left intact. The river then tracks behind the upmarket Wellington pub and restaurant, an amalgamation of venerable drinking dens on the site since the early 1300s. The Mimram flows through the beer garden and beyond.
There is both a ford and a bridge where it is crossed by the high street. And here we find Van Gogh. In 1876, he walked 100 miles from Ramsgate, where he was working as a teacher, to visit his sister who was teaching in Welwyn. His bust stands at the ford.
The Mimram runs through the heart of old Welwyn. There’s a Mimram Road and Mimram Place and a Mill Lane. Frustratingly, the river can only be glanced at over the parapets of the bridge at the mill house before it slips out of sight again behind a run of lovely old brick houses.