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Barton Windmill...
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TOPIC: Barton Windmill...

Barton Windmill... 6 years, 5 months ago #384


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  • Jenna
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I have been trawling through a lot more Barton historical documentation largely aimed at the old village school (now 'Passage to India') and turned up some interesting information that Barton had a windmill!... yes a windmill.

We all know that Barton has a watermill, and some people probably know that in the past we had several more watermills dotted around the village all fed from the many springs that emanate from the chalk Chiltern Hills to our south, but I never knew we had a windmill too.

The mill according to records was high above the village on the hills to the south, although its exact location is not mapped out the documents do give a lot of clues to the location like the access was from the 'cart track' and the mill was in view of the 'Jeremiah Tree' so we can be sure it was located south of the village along the track at the end of Old Road which leads to Galley Hill.



The mill was disused in the early 1800's and I suspect demolished before the next land survey in the 1860's.
Last Edit: 6 years, 5 months ago by Jenna.

Re: Barton Windmill... 6 years, 5 months ago #385


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Spent a little time last night looking at the maps.

There is no record on any OS map of the mill, but as it became redundant before the OS mapping was done its logical it wont show. This said there is a curious circle feature noticeable in the aerial pictures.

This 'circle' can be seen a lot clearer in 'Bing Maps' using their satellite maps option.

The circle is at OS TL 08555 29232, 140mts east from the cart track in the field and is at 152 mts above sea level (highest point is 165mts 440 mts south). using the tennis courts to scale the image it appears to be 20 mts in diameter (the white dash line is above what I believe to be the modern gas pipeline cut).



From various internet sources the mill is confirmed as being a postmill, postmills and their earlier counterparts trestle mills were common sight in the south of England with a few restored examples still in operation (notably the Jack and Jill mills in Sussex). The construction of these mills is based around a giant oak post held vertical on an oak cross beam, the mill itself is then built on the post allowing the mill to be rotated 360' to face the wind.

an example of an early trestle mill is Nutley Windmill, Sussex



later mills had the trestle enclosed to give extra storage space, these the more common post mills are recognisable with the brick circular base and conical roof.

this picture shows the Outwood post mill in Surrey in 1950 with its circular base, steps and tailpole.



later post mills used a mechanical system to turn the mill, this 'fantail' system can be seen in detail in these old pictures of Gissing Mill, Norfolk.




So history of post mill over, the circle in the field at 20mts is way to large to be the base of either a trestle mill or the walls of the postmill storehouse... remember the sails would hit the base if were that big! the only explanation I can think of is this is the remains of a fantail track or more probable a gravel ring where the tailpole was pushed against? more investigation is needed on this one!!

Last Edit: 6 years, 5 months ago by Jenna.

Re: Barton Windmill... 6 years, 5 months ago #387

that's definitely 'man made' as its a perfectly round.... 70' across is BIG.

Re: Barton Windmill... 6 years, 5 months ago #388


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returned back to the maps to get a little more information.

Using the 1765 land survey map of Bedfordshire its clear the mill was not at the location of the circle in the field I listed above, the map puts the mill on the slopes of West Hill on the the west side of the cart track (and closer the the Jeremiah Tree)....



Taking the information from the 1765 map and laying that over the google map you get a much better understanding of the track network and where the mill once stood.


Last Edit: 6 years, 5 months ago by Jenna.

Re: Barton Windmill... 6 years, 5 months ago #389


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looking at the satellite images of the area

www.bing.com/maps/
maps.google.co.uk/

you do get a few clues. (Click the image below to expand it.)
the blue circles shows signs of former groundwork's, these tally up with 1765 road to Streatley from Barton
the red circle shows an unusual depression in the field and it has a ring round it ?
the green circle is the nearby Jeremiah Tree as mentioned in the 1902 text.

Last Edit: 6 years, 5 months ago by Jenna.

Re: Barton Windmill... 6 years, 5 months ago #390

I think I can see where the track was in google earth

Re: Barton Windmill... 6 years, 5 months ago #395


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what a coincidence, I was only the other day looking at things to do in the area today (being a bank holiday so you can be sure its going to rain) and noticed that Pitstone Mill is open for the day.

I haven't been when its open, but I have walked round it a few times... its interesting to know that we may have a similar mill here in the village to and very few even knew of it, great work Jenna.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-pitstonewindmill

photo by Dave Wood


if you are in the area then another stop off is the Museum of Rural Life also in Pitstone.
Last Edit: 6 years, 3 months ago by admin.

Re: Barton Windmill... 6 years, 5 months ago #397


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While out walking the dogs I took these pictures.... (click image to enlarge)



this picture was taken at west end (the modern 'end' of Old Road) and shows how the road has changed over the years, the road these days looks like a dead end but over the years its been very different.

1: entrance to the modern water reservoir (see 'development at Old Rd thread').
2: entrance to the old chalk quarry.
3: the cart track, the road to Luton.
4: entrance to Hill House (and formally Hill House Farm).
5: what I suspect was the road to Streatley (which the windmill was on).
6: entrance to Private Road (established in the 1940's)
Last Edit: 6 years, 5 months ago by Jenna.

Re: Barton Windmill... 6 years, 5 months ago #398


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I'm waiting for Google Earth to expand their 1945 historical maps a bit northwards then we might have more evidence of not only the windmill but also the airfield

Re: Barton Windmill... 6 years, 5 months ago #399

I have walked past the where the picture of the end of old road was taken a hundred times and never really thought about the layout, now you point it out its obvious that the the modern road is cut off.

well done.
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