Saturday, 4 July 2015

A look around West Harefield

I’ve been intrigued for some time about the renovation of the old mill building on the offside of the Grand Union canal at Copper Mill Lock and the water mill so with a bit of time on my hands I’ve tried to do a bit of  research
   It is recorded that two mills existed on this manor (a large country house with lands; the principal house of a landed estate. chiefly historical (especially in England and Wales) a unit of land, originally a feudal lordship, consisting of a lord's demesne and lands rented to tenants.)  
   way back in 1086 but it’s not clear what types of mills they were.  In 1245 there was a water mill which is thought to have been a fulling mill (apparently the worst job in history/middle ages (I had an ancestor who was a fuller!) and also in 1536 there is mention of Grapes Mill described as a fulling mill but was either disused or demolished by 1560. A paper mill producing white paper existed in the area prior to 1683 and was still in existence in 1777.   The mills were then let to the Mines Royal Company  who converted them to copper in 1803 specialising in copper sheeting and bolts for the Royal Navy.  Sometime after 1855 the mill reverted back to producing paper and by 1890 the mills once again changed manufacture to asbestos and survived until the 1920’s.  Since then they have been occupied by three rubber companies until 1959.  

Planning permission was agreed to turn the buildings into residential accommodation and the first phase (The Longhouse) is now complete, properties here start from £215.000 and are apparently all sold/reserved! We noticed that several had window dressings up and already occupied.
Part of the same renovation is the Manor House once the home of Mines Royal copper Mills built in 1781,and these appartments will be available soon apparently.
We walked past the mill and manor house developments to the 1990’s redevelopment of the area passing this beautiful properties on the way
… spying Still Rockin’ from The Quays
… and what appears to be an almost open air kitchen/lounge/diner in the canal arm mooring - looks very inviting and very ‘select’.
A wonderful thatched cottage over the hedge as we reach
… Black Jacks Mill which is up for sale at a very reasonable price of £2,540,000 with its 8 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, tennis court and three acres of land!
The entrance to the mooring arm with the ‘lounge’ just above Black Jacks Lock 
The water over  unusually shaped weir sparkling in the sunshine
… and back to Still Rockin’ moored behind the dutch barge in the distance and past Troy Cut (unnavigable) flowing under the bridge on the left


  1. If you are still close to Harefield, take a walk up the hill across the bridge at Black Jack's and aim for The Old Orchard pub - absolutely wonderful place with a lovely view across the lakes and down to the cut - of course the food and wine are lovely too! It's probably our favourite pub close-ish to the canal.
    Big hugs, Mxox

    1. Thanks Marilyn! Only read your comment today after we’d moved on from Harefield but will bear the Old Orchard in mind for when we return that way at the end of summer. Hoping you’re having a good road. xx


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