Osney Mill – History Comes to Life Again
This historic former flour mill has been imaginatively redeveloped into 10 fully sustainable 1-, 2- & 3-bedroom apartments and two townhouses, combining natural materials with modern technology. It has created a very special living environment with a private riverside garden on the island by a cut in the River Thames, behind Osney Lock, but just a few minutes’ walk to Oxford rail station.
UPDATE: There is one home left in this fantastic development, all the others are let.
Residents can look out over the water to wildlife and the marina, all the while seeing restored wheels, reminders of the legacy of the location.
The new development is powered by a mini hydro electric plant, based on an Archimedean Screw, using the fast flowing water of the old mill race to generate energy whilst reducing the risk of flooding for the area. This is combined with ground source heat pumps and the latest glazing and insulation materials to produce significant energy savings.
The mill has been in the Munsey family since 1895, four generations of whom have worked as millers. William Henry Munsey came to Oxford after his farming business in Cambridge had been devastated by foot and mouth disease. The mill was the last in Oxford to grind flour for bread. During the Second World War it was in production 24 hours a day. Generations of workers had followed each other to work there. It was gutted by fire in 1946, but renovation wasn’t viable and instead they relocated to a new mill in Wantage, which is still in operation.
Adjacent to the mill is the remaining gatehouse from the Priory, dating back to 1410. Founded in 1129, the Priory became Osney Abbey and has a long and important history. A newly restored barn, now a 15th century historic monument, is also a reminder of this area’s importance in medieval times.
Tony Munsey, who has driven this project with passion and imagination, is retaining the development as an investment for the business, let and managed by Oxford letting agents Finders Keepers. He presents each tenant moving in with a bag of flour from the Wantage Mill – an original welcome gift.
Decorum Interiors, Finders Keepers’ interior design division, furnished two of the apartments ready for the launch, combining earth tones, natural leathers, glass, stone and metal with curved angles and shapes to echo the surroundings and natural setting but creating a contemporary vibe. The open day was a great success and the apartments have let quickly.
The larger of the two town houses has a glass panel where you can see the water rushing beneath and superbly calming views over the river.
Contact Louise Humphreys at our Central Oxford office for more information about these truly unique properties to rent in Oxford and the availability dates. 01865 297999.