For previous generations, life on the land was hard with long hours at the mercy of cold and wet weather with its toll on physical health
Historically, due to its rich soil, Chinnor has been a thriving agricultural community supported by a range of business not only agricultural , the windmill, but shops, laundry and supporting services such as blacksmiths and carpenters, including the makeshift economy and poaching.
By the early part of the 13th century there was a windmill on the Chiltern escarpment at Wainhill, about 1 mile (1.6 km) east of Chinnor village. Chinnor had a watermill, but by 1279 it had been transferred to the neighbouring manor of Henton. In 1336 the Ferrers manor at Chinnor had a windmill. In 1789 a post mill was built on the west side of the village off White's Field. It was dismantled in 1965 but has since been rebuilt by Chinnor Windmill Restoration Society. It is unusual in having 3 crosstrees and 6 quarterbars.
At the end of the 16th century Sir George Fermor enclosed some of the woods in the parish. Attempts to enclose Chinnor's common lands were ruled illegal and reversed in 1761 and 1817. Parliament passed an enclosure act for Chinnor in 1847 but the enclosure award to allocate the land was not implemented until 1854.
Blacksmiths and Farriers
The historical portrayal of the smith as a big muscular man in a leather apron, hammering away on an anvil, in a smithy, on the edge of the village green is really now just romance. Blacksmithing would always have been fairly hard, physical work often carried out in hot, uncomfortable conditions and would have required a significant level of stamina, if not actual brute force.
Maurice Pullen, Treasurer / Secretary for the Chinnor Heritage team has written an article about Blacksmiths and Farriers and the part they played in life. You will find the full article in the document library below.
Milling in Chinnor
Chinnor Windmill is an historic flour mill that was originally built in 1789. Unusual in having three crosstrees and six piers and quarterbars, together with curved struts supporting a curb ring to stabilise the bottom of the buck.
The windmill is no longer on its original site further down Mill Lane as it was demolished in 1967 to make way for housing. However the majority of its parts were salvaged and the windmill has and its still being lovingly restored in its new location in White's Field, next to Mill Lane Community School.