– – – EXPLORING THE COUNTRYSIDE AND LANES OF DORSET – – –
So our final mill of the week…..is actually not a mill 🙂 ! But I wanted to include it because it does have a water wheel and to me, that makes it like a mill. This is in fact Blashenwell Farm.
The old farm at Blashenwell sits between Corfe Castle and Kingston and is somewhat off the beaten track. The huge water wheel is attached to the side of an old barn and was once used to drive farm machinery. The barn itself bears the inscription ‘1760’ but the iron water wheel was put up some time later in the 19th century.
What I find interesting with this ‘mill’ is the way it worked. It is somewhat different from the norm in that the water leaves the mill pond and immediately drops down into underground pipes so the leat is not visible. When it nears the waterwheel, it rises some 12/15 feet into the tank that you see to the right of the wheel and then immediately drops vertically downward to turn the wheel. This only works because the millpond is at a much higher level than the wheel.
Sadly, the wheel has rusted badly and parts have broken away so that the water now just pours through the hole that is left. Some of the works are still visible though.
Although this is not technically a mill, it is possible that there was a connection with cloth milling since the name Blashenwell is thought to derive from the old English words meaning ‘spring or stream at the bleaching enclosure’. The small spring referred to is the sole water source that feeds the millpond.
Part of the attraction of this place for me is that it is off the beaten tourist track so is ‘real life’ in the sense that it is unrestored. Another part of the attraction is that walking past it means walking on a gravel or tarmac lane which is most welcome in very wet winters when the more usual route between Corfe and Kingston, Corfe Common, is extremely boggy.
Thanks for joining me again this week and I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of our Dorset water mills.
Your friend The Dorset Rambler
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