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Battlesden Windmill

 Field 36 is Windmill Field 1926

Battlesden windmill is only known from a stray modern reference - to Windmill Hill in the Tithe Apportionment of 1845. The field in the apportinment is shown in the thumbnail above - please click on it to see a larger version - the field number is 36. As can be seen the hill is adjacent to Watling Street, the A5 and stands not far away from the parish boundary with Hockliffe.

Interestingly there is another reference, by implication, to a mill in Battlesden. This is from the pleas to the Crown recorded in the Bedford Eyre of 1227: "Stephen Canutus de Middelton [Milton Bryan] and William son of Martin of the same, slew John de Badeleston' the miller and fled...and William was dwelling in Badelesdon'...Judgement: let them be exacted and outlawed" Bedfordshire Historical Records Society Volume III]. Clearly Stephen and William had absconded, otherwise they would have been hanged instead of being outlawed.

Obviously the unfortunate John was from Battlesden and was a miller which implies, though not necessary proves, that he was a miller in Battlesden. If he was then he was quite likely keeper of a windmill (only introduced into England some fifty years before) and so quite possibly on Windmill Hill. Millers were often unpopular in a parish as they were held to charge extortionate prices to villagers to grind their corn.

site of Battlesden windmill January 2008
site of Battlesden windmill January 2008