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Windmill at Bloxham Grove Farm

A Grade II Listed Building in Bloxham, Oxfordshire

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Latitude: 52.0269 / 52°1'36"N

Longitude: -1.3357 / 1°20'8"W

OS Eastings: 445676

OS Northings: 236707

OS Grid: SP456367

Mapcode National: GBR 7T6.YZB

Mapcode Global: VHCWF.SBR0

Entry Name: Windmill at Bloxham Grove Farm

Listing Date: 25 June 2007

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1392065

English Heritage Legacy ID: 503060

Location: Bloxham, Cherwell, Oxfordshire, OX15

County: Oxfordshire

District: Cherwell

Civil Parish: Bloxham

Traditional County: Oxfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire

Church of England Parish: Bloxham

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

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Listing Text


531/0/10010 Windmill at Bloxham Grove Farm

Windmill of 1865. Principally wood with minor C20 restoration.

EXTERIOR: The post mill stands about 200m south-west of the farm complex at Bloxham Grove, on the highest ground for miles around. It is outwardly conventional in form: four sails covered by cloth rolled down the sail frames; a weather-boarded, gable-roofed, wooden 'buck' or body containing the machinery; and with its main post supported by iron-strapped cross-trees set upon stone- and concrete-capped tapering brick piers. To the rear of the body is a pair of doors with iron strap handles.

INTERIOR: The machinery comprises one pair of 30-inch stones, driven directly from above via a wooden gear wheel with 48 cogs. A governor is suspended beneath the stones, which are fed from a detachable hopper.

HISTORY: About 1797 the Old (204 acres) and New (147 acres) farms at Bloxham Grove were purchased and united by George Warriner (I; d.1822), this purchase coinciding with the enclosure of the parish's open fields in 1794 and 1802 which created the modern agricultural landscape. His son George Warriner (II; d.1845) 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, the rebuilding of some of the farm's buildings in 1826, and subsequently the installation of a steam engine in the barn to drive milling machinery.

The investment in steam power may have been at the instigation of the younger Warriner's nephew Henry (1819-1902), an engineer, who was also employed with his brother George to manage the farm. Henry's career encompassed both marine and railway engineering, and he was clearly a man who enjoyed experimenting with motive power. In 1841, for instance, he built and launched 'The Firefly', an experimental steam launch. Another enthusiasm was windmills, and in 1865, when chief engineer of Messrs Mandesley Sons and Field of Lambeth, he designed a one-third scale post mill at Bloxham Grove 'as a memorial to all windmills', clearly appreciating that in an age of steam power they had had their day. According to his nephew, who was interviewed in 1957, 'he spent many a windy day in it when on holiday. It was of course a hobby and not big enough for commercial work'. The mill (or its machinery) was said by his nephew to have been made by John Lampitt and Co. of Banbury, although elsewhere it is stated that it was the barn machinery which Lampitts made. One possibility, of course, is that the firm was responsible for both.

The Warriners farmed Bloxham Grove until the late C19 and owned the farm until 1916.

SOURCES: W Foreman, Oxfordshire Mills (1983), 86, 90, 124, pl. 61.

SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: The one-third scale post mill at Bloxham Grove Farm was constructed 'as a memorial to all windmills' in 1865 by Henry Warriner, an enterprising engineer and the manager of the improving farm at Bloxham Grove. It survives in good condition and with its machinery intact. Standing on high ground close to a footpath it is a very visible reminder of the initiative of its farmer-owners, the Warriners.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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