A Grade II Listed Building, Combe Mill Museum is the original ‘power house’ of the old Blenheim Palace Estate timber mill and workshops. This working industrial museum offers visitors a fascinating insight into work that went on behind the scenes of the Blenheim Estate over the last century or so.
The original timber sawmill is at right angles to the museum building and is now office accommodation. Power to turn the sawmill machinery was delivered from under the workshop floor by means of pulleys and belts long ago removed from the undercroft. However, quite a lot still remains in the museum building and visitors may still see the line shafting and belts in operation and driving exhibits.
Power for the Mill was usually taken from the water wheel unless the River Evenlode was running too low to power the wheel. When this happened the steam engine was used until 1912 as the source of power.
This site was the workshop for Blenheim Palace Estate. Upstairs in the Mill building was the pattern shop. Here skilled craftsmen made the patterns and moulds from which to cast the various iron objects needed by the estate. Visitors can see several such patterns for window frames and gear wheels, for example. Carpenters, wood turners and wheelwrights also worked in the building and some of their machinery and tools can be seen.