Sunday, June 1, 2008

Harbury, Warwickshire

In around 1910 the hand winch with which the miller at Chesterton Windmill (see previous post) turned his sails into the wind failed and the miller moved a mile or so up the road to Harbury, where there was a fine tower mill in the middle of the village. Although the sails and the original boat-shaped cap have have long gone, the tower is still there, providing a rounded point of interest in the rectilinear environment of this English village.

Harbury windmill is a much more conventional design that Chesterton. It’s basically a round tapering tower of brick and stone, on top of which there was originally a revolving cap that held the sails – the standard tower mill, in fact. It was built in the early-19th century and its four sails turned the millstones until just before the First World War, when the miller introduced a steam engine – this power plant was later followed by oil and later electrical power. Milling stopped in 1952 and after other industrial uses the building became a home in the late 1980s.


Peter Ashley said...

Looking closely at the pitched roof I think this is also a candidate for 'The Buildings with Faces' book.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Yes. The pointed, square-based roof on top of the round tower looks odd and is quite inauthentic. But its unexpected weirdness gives it a charm that I rather like. A case of something that's strictly 'wrong' turning out oddly 'right'.