Oxhill News

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South Warwickshire, England.

The Oxhill News

November 2004


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The Mill

So where was this mill anyway!  The Domesday Book lists a mill valued at 16d, so it had an ancient origin.  It was still around to be argued over in 1240, but how long it survived in working order I do not yet know.  By the time the open fields were enclosed in 1798, it appears no longer to have been in use.   The Enclosure Award refers to “the Old Inclosure known as the Millyard”, and this was divided up, the larger portion going to the Rector, and a small corner of it to another landowner.

The map accompanying the Enclosure Award places the Millyard at the junction of the Oxhill Brook and the other stream that joins it from Tysoe in land that is now owned by Phil and Heather Brennan at Bilton Cottage.  Certainly the brook runs considerably faster at this point, but it is still difficult to imagine quite how enough head of water was generated to power a waterwheel.  Maybe there was a weir – who knows!

The documentary evidence was supported by a discussion with Bill Heritage, Tom’s elder brother, who remembers from his  boyhood in the late 1920s, early 1930s, when there was a long meadow on the right hand side over the bridge in Manor Lane (now divided in ownership between Colin and Jill Tucker and the Brennans).  At the end of this, at the place where the brooks converge, there was a small orchard where old indentations were still visible that the old folk of his youth told him were the remains of the mill race and sluice.  When I was shown round by Heather Brennan there is indeed the area that there are still a few ancient damson trees, and  overgrown depressions in the soil which Heather tells me fill with water in the winter.  (This is a distinct area from the more recent excavations where a new pond was created sometime in the sixties by the Furmans, which lies further back from the stream.  In any case, Bill Heritage’s memories predate these alterations.)

Field and lane names also help.  Mr Charles Ivins, who did extensive work on old Oxhill deeds, told me that the long meadow (Tuckers and Brennans) was known as Millyard Close, the neighbouring field Millyard Leys, and that the footpath, (now routed through the field by the church) which originally went across the front of Sanroy Cottage was called Millyard Way.

So rests the research to date.  Any further information or memories gratefully received.        

Ann Hale

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Last modified: November 09, 2004