Combe Mill Society 2015

Registered Charity Number 1111029

…….a place to discover

Combe Mill

During the First World War

We continue to explore the part that Combe Mill played during the First World War and how the war affected the lives of the workers and their families.

The Mill was commandeered by the War Office for the manufacture of pit props and duck boards for use in the front line trenches.

Because the beam engine has failed in 1912, power to drive the woodworking machinery was derived from portable steam engines that was parked in the yard and connected to the line shafting.

Students of Oxford Brooks University have researched the lives of some of the Mill workers and you can view their findings by clicking here.

1086 Recorded in Domesday Book

1611 Flour mill owned by Johnson family

1766 Sold to 4th Duke of Marlborough

1850s Mill rebuilt to make workshops, sawmill and forge for the estate

1886 Front extended and new steam beam engine and Cornish boiler installed

1912 Beam Engine stopped working

1950s Electricity arrived and water power was redundant

Late 1960s Beam engine ‘re-discovered’ and volunteers restore it to working order over next years

1975 First public steaming of beam engine : Head race had been filled in by now. Combe Mill Society formed

2000 Working sawmill closes

2003 Mill listed Grade II* by English Heritage to protect contents

2010 Mill leased from Blenheim by Combe Mill Society

2012 Mill re-opens as a working industrial museum after Heritage Lottery funded conservation and improvement project.


Brief timeline