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Latitude: 52.0276 / 52°1'39"N
Longitude: -1.3342 / 1°20'3"W
OS Eastings: 445777
OS Northings: 236784
OS Grid: SP457367
Mapcode National: GBR 7T6.ZF9
Mapcode Global: VHCWF.T9JH
Entry Name: Barn at Bloxham Grove Farm
Listing Date: 26 February 2007
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1391901
English Heritage Legacy ID: 502741
Location: Bloxham, Cherwell, Oxfordshire, OX15
Civil Parish: Bloxham
Traditional County: Oxfordshire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire
Church of England Parish: Bloxham
Church of England Diocese: Oxford
531/0/10005 Barn at Bloxham Grove Farm
Barn with steam-powered milling machinery, mainly early C19.
MATERIALS: Squared and coursed marlstone, Welsh slate roof, corrugated asbestos to rear. Stone coped gables with stone ball finial, kneelers and date stone inscribed 1826 in West gable. Plain East gable with wider coping stones. Blue brick 19C or early C20 boiler chimney, now reduced in height, over bay six.
PLAN: Rectangular, of six bays with boiler house outshut at west end.
EXTERIOR: The barn runs along the north side of the courtyard of farm buildings at Bloxham Grove. It may have C17 or C18 origins but was refurbished, for instance with new iron windows, and possibly extended to the west in 1826 (datestone) from five bays to six. Evidence that eaves have been raised over all six bays. The main part of the barn (to right) has opposed threshing doorways, both original openings being relatively narrow; that to the rear half blocked with a breeze block wall. Vertical ventilation slit in front right hand wall, evidence of similar in front left hand wall. To the left bays five and six (no internal communication between them) each have a plank door with cast iron window to the right. The west gable includes a tall double loft door (made redundant by later addition of outshot beneath) below flat limestone arch with keystone, flanked by cast iron windows as before below limestone segmental arches. 1826 datestone above. Rear façade includes possibly inserted door, C19 round top cast iron window below brick semicircular arch and evidence of removed outshot. Blocked personnel door in east gable.
INTERIOR: The main body of the barn remains open to the roof. Tie beam roof trusses with combined raking struts and iron tie rods. Principal rafters halved and bolted at apex. Single pair of back purlins. Possibly early C19, contemporary with date stone. On-edge stone threshing floor. Candle hole to right of front threshing door. Stone and brick workshop inserted (perhaps in late C19) into bays 4 and 5 with loft over. Bay 6: Ground floor engine room with late C19/early C20 horizontal steam engine connected to and driving a first-floor mill wheel fed by two hoppers and supported on a pair of cast iron columns. Hearth and flue for boiler. Power take-off for drive belts to outside rear of barn and to a hoist and grain handling machinery on first floor and in attic above. Segmental brick arched doorway with well below leads to outshot which previously housed boiler for steam engine.
HISTORY: The Victoria County History suggests that Bloxham Grove is 'very possibly' on the site of the lodge conveyed in 1528 with the warren by Edward Fiennes to James Merynge on a repairing lease. About 1797 the Old (204 acres) and New (147 acres) farms here were purchased and united by George Warriner (I), this purchase coinciding with inclosure of the parish's open fields in 1794 and 1802 which created the modern agricultural landscape. His son George Warriner (II) was an improving farmer, whose activities were noted by Arthur Young when he reported on agriculture in Oxfordshire in 1809 (published in 1813; his farming journals are in the Warwick County Record Office, CR 1635/122-6). Symptomatic of this was Warriner's purchase of threshing and winnowing machines mentioned in an inventory of 1813 (and the former in Young's 1813 publication, p. 86) along with five ploughs. The alterations made to the barn in 1826 may have been to accommodate the new crop-processing machinery including the steam engine made by Lampitts of Banbury . In the next decade or two further modification came with the installation of steam power, and it may be significant that in 1841 Warriner's nephew Henry (1819-1902), an engineer, who was also employed with his brother George to manage the farm, built and launched 'The Firefly', an experimental steam launch. The Warriners farmed Bloxham Grove until the late C19 and owned the farm until 1916. Later farm buildings were built beyond the older buildings, contributing to their preservation.
SOURCES: V.C.H. Oxfordshire 9 (1969), 58; R. Brunskill, Traditional Farm Buildings of Britain and their Conservation (1999), 57-9; A. Young, General View of the Agriculture of Oxfordshire (1813); W. Foreman, Oxfordshire Mills (1983)
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: This six-bay barn, of coursed marlstone with a Welsh slate roof, may have C17 or C18 origins but was refurbished, for instance with new iron windows, and extended to the west in 1826 (datestone). Probably soon afterwards a steam engine driving first-floor milling equipment was introduced in the westernmost bay of the barn. Servicing its boiler was a tall blue-brick chimney. Although the boiler has been removed, the original engine replaced by one of the late C19 or early C20, and the chimney reduced in height, the building and its mechanical fittings and fixtures generally survive in a remarkably complete condition. The barn was among the farmyard buildings at Bloxham Grove built or upgraded in or about 1826 by George Warriner (II), an improving farmer whose activities were noted by Arthur Young, the celebrated writer on agriculture. It has group value with the Grade II brewhouse and laundry.
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