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The Round House Woburn

Plan and elevation of the Roundhouse in 1805 [R3/2114/530]
Plan and elevation of the Roundhouse in 1805 [R3/2114/530]

The earliest reference to a windmill in Woburn comes from a map of 1661 by Jonas Moore indicating a hill called Windmill Hill three quarters of a mile north of Woburn Abbey on the far side of the road from Woburn to Froxfield. Another Mill Hill lies a quarter of a mile west of the town on the south side of the road leading to Leighton Buzzard. The only other records for a windmill held by Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service are in the Duke of Bedford's estate correspondence and again refer to the west of the village, though north of Leighton Street, at the rear of the later Maryland Hospital.

A bill for millwright's work in 1798 [R4/608/18/1] lists as follows:

- for machinery and top to mill £387
- for a new 6 foot wind machine and house for the same £13/18/-
- for shaft and brass and ironwork for the same £10/6/9
- carriage of sending things from London to Bedford £2/0/6
- for copper smiths making scaffolds and making door in roof millwright's 17 days £3/8/-
- beer for man assisting copper 5/-
- attending and trying the mill dressing the stones etc millwright's 32 days £6/8/-
- repairing the regulator and flys £4/4/-

Correspondence in 1805 [R3/2114/530-531] shows the small cottage at the base of the windmill pictured above as well as a brief estimate, the picture is headed: "Plan and Elevation for Cottage to be made from lower part of Woburn Windmill over the lower Rooms are to be two Bed Rooms". The estimate reads: "Estimate to Convert the lower part of Woburn Windmill into a Cottage with Garden fenced in and Building removed for a Wood Hovel, Hogstye &c as per plann [sic] would Cost the Sum of Sixty Seven Pounds".

The Round House about 1900
The Round House about 1900

The top of the windmill removed, the cottage continued to be inhabited for some time, being known as The Round House. It fell into disrepair in the 20th century but was renovated in 2006 and is once more inhabited at the time of writing [2013].