Then & Now

Tainters Hill – Then & Now

Tainters Hill windmill, later water tower, 1963 and 2016
Tainters Hill windmill, later water tower, 1963 and 2016

This then and now shows the windmill on Tainters Hill, built in 1778. Rob Steward records in Kenilworth History 2000 – 2001 that “this mill battled on, driven by the wind, grinding com for the inhabitants of Kenilworth for seventy-six years until it succumbed to the power of steam”.

Rob also speculates, that whilst the “Balsall Common tower windmill has [a] boat type cap, with a transom at the back as well to accommodate a large wheel and chain which enabled the cap to be turned by hand from the ground. The tower-mill on Tainters Hill most likely had a cap of this type, with a wheel and chain”. Regarding the ownership of the windmill, Rob goes on to say that  “A will, dated 15th June 1793, shows that at that time, the windmill on Tainters Common and a malt-house in New Way (later New Street) belonged to William Parker of Kenilworth, a baker, and was left to his mother Susannah Parker.”

The windmill was converted to a steam powered mill in 1854. It is shown in the 1963 ‘then’ photo as it appeared having been converted to a water tower in 1885 / 85, which was used to supply Kenilworth’s water, pumped from an adit which collected water from various springs around the Common.

Robin Leach tells us in Kenilworth History 2013 (in a piece extracted from Kenilworth People and Places, Volume 2) that “The initial water supply was from an adit, 280ft long, 5ft wide and 16ft deep, cut in the rock to collect water from a large number of springs, in particular one known as ‘top spring’, on the Common. The adit ran roughly parallel to the brook at a distance of about 5ft from it at the western end and 3ft at the eastern end. It was estimated that 5,000 gallons an hour in the dry season, and 8,000 in the wet, could be pumped to the water tower situated in the formerly wind- and subsequently steam- mill on Tainters Hill.”

The water tower was later converted to a residence by Michael & Ann Hill in 1973.

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