History in Structure

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Windmill

A Grade II Listed Building in Tring, Hertfordshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.7969 / 51°47'48"N

Longitude: -0.6751 / 0°40'30"W

OS Eastings: 491464

OS Northings: 211745

OS Grid: SP914117

Mapcode National: GBR F4M.B4Z

Mapcode Global: VHFRW.73ZB

Plus Code: 9C3XQ8WF+QX

Entry Name: Windmill

Listing Date: 21 September 1951

Last Amended: 1 June 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1342204

English Heritage Legacy ID: 355716

Location: Tring, Dacorum, Hertfordshire, HP23

County: Hertfordshire

Civil Parish: Tring

Built-Up Area: Tring

Traditional County: Hertfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hertfordshire

Church of England Parish: Tring

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans

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Summary


Tower mill of the 1840s, converted to a dwelling in the 1970s. The attached bungalow, its extensions, car port and annexe have no architectural and historic interest and are excluded from the listing.


Description

A former tower windmill, built in 1840 and disused by the 1920s. It was converted into a dwelling in the 1970s when it was incorporated into an extended bungalow of the 1930s.

MATERIALS: the windmill is constructed of red and purple brick laid in Flemish bond, with some vestigial tar attached to the bricks in places, and a 1970s fibreglass cap impregnated with copper.

PLAN: a tapering tower windmill, approximately the eastern third of which lies within an ā€˜Lā€™ shaped 1970s extension to the bungalow.

EXTERIOR: the windmill has four floors; each floor has window openings beneath elliptical brick heads. There are ground floor door openings to the north, east and south and a first-floor taking-in door to the east; all of the external openings have late-C20 fenestration. The round cap is of the late C20, but is said to replicate the form of the original. Surmounted by a ball finial, glazing is inserted at the breast and tail elevations where the sails and fantail gearing would have been attached in the original structure.

INTERIOR: the windmill floor frames remain, including substantial bridging beams and some early-C19 joists; others were replaced in the late C20. The great spur wheel with timber teeth remains on the first (former stones) floor, supported on a substantial timber trestle, with part of the drive to the stones apparent. On the third floor the curb to the cap survives attached to a pegged and jointed timber plate. Two sets of wheels on timber mountings, by which the cap was rotated, are present; the timber frame has carpenters marks, but the joists are late C20. The fourth floor accesses the cap space where extensive glazing gives views across the surrounding countryside.

The attached bungalow, its extensions, car port and annexe have no architectural and historic interest and are excluded from the listing.


History

Tring windmill was constructed in 1840, and was known as Goldfield windmill and barn. The Hertfordshire Historic Environment Record (HER) states that it was built by a Mr Grover, in partnership with the Mead family at New Mill. The mill was taken over by James Wright in 1883 with a contract to grind and crush oats for Lord Rothschild. In 1908 the sails were removed, replaced by a 6hp engine working a pair of stones and an oat crusher; the windmill worked up until the 1920s. This was the last windmill to run in Dacorum and is the only tower remaining in the district.

The 1888 First edition Ordnance Survey (OS) map places the windmill in a large plot which contained a house and three parallel buildings on the site of the existing dwelling, perhaps corn stores and other ancillary outbuildings associated with the windmill, and a linear range north on the site of the existing 1970s annex. By 1899, the publication date of the 2nd edition, these had been replaced by a single range distinctly separate to the north-east of the windmill.

This configuration remained until the early 1930s. In approximately 1935, a bungalow was built on the site of the outbuildings; its original form is discernible by the shallow hipped roofs of the existing building. Permission was granted to extend and alter the outbuildings to create guest accommodation in 1969. In 1972, permission was granted to extend the bungalow, partly incorporating the former windmill tower within the dwelling, and creating a linked annex to the north with a car port between it and the house. The remodelling of the 1970s resulted in a number of extensive alterations and adaptation of the 1930s building.

The windmill tower itself retains its floor frames and external door and window openings with late-C20 fenestration. Some machinery remains on the second and fourth floors, but much was lost, presumably during the conversion to a dwelling. The cap was replaced in the late C20, although it is said to replicate the form of the original.

Reasons for Listing

The windmill at 4 Icknield Way, dating to 1840, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: it is a distinctive industrial structure of 1840, retaining a significant proportion of its original fabric despite conversion into a dwelling;
* Interior: it retains components of original gearing to the stones and cap;
* Historic interest: as an example of a locally prominent, but nationally significant reminder of the use of wind power in food production before the mid-C19.

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