Noupoort's idiosyncratic circular blockhouse

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Noupoort's idiosyncratic circular blockhouse

Postby nigelutting » 09 Feb 2018 21:30

New blog post:"Noupoort's idiosyncratic circular blockhouse".

See: http://wp.me/p2z8Ty-1pY

Fresh photos of what must be a unique blockhouse - an adaptation of an existing building rather than purpose-built.

Nigel.
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Re: Noupoort's idiosyncratic circular blockhouse

Postby nigelutting » 10 Feb 2018 13:03

Blog post updated with a couple of additional thoughts on internal layout and external access.

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Re: Noupoort's idiosyncratic circular blockhouse

Postby rclpillinger » 11 Feb 2018 11:06

I think perhaps there is a very close resemblance here to the range of 74 Martello Towers that were built along the Kent and Sussex coast during the Napoleonic Wars. Maybe there was a member of the design team who came from Dymchurch.

I think the the only tower restored to its original state can be seem here

https://theromneymarsh.net/martello24

Most have become houses now, would you believe!

Richard
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Re: Noupoort's idiosyncratic circular blockhouse

Postby ED, in Los Angeles » 11 Feb 2018 23:41

This is a crude Afrikaner built, Dutch or European windmill, made into a blockhouse during the Boer War. Look at this image.....complete with corrugated cap roof, with a gable end.

https://ih1.redbubble.net/image.5863310 ... 5,f.u1.jpg

Our Noupoort windmill was situated on a hill, next to a railway, to mill goods brought to the mill, and take the finished product, by train, to market.

It is most likely a three story flour and corn processor, though it could be a lumber mill that processed seasoned raw timber into shingles or wood for commercial boxes or barrel staves to be bent and shaped elsewhere. This size of the first floor saw room could not accommodate any wood very tall or long. But it is most likely a grain grist mill

The top of this three storied mill, would have housed a hopper that fed harvested grain to the second story milling room, where stones would have ground the grain into flour, then dropping the flour into a shute into the bottom first floor where the flour would be bagged and stored. Here is what the second story milling room was like.

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/08/ ... 64x641.jpg

The top grain floor is where the gun ports are today. There would have been a wooden ceiling that was then covered by the cap roof.

The second story milling room, is where you can see the faint square outline of a door about in the middle left of the structure on the forth photo down from the start of the initial post. Why is the door located so high off the ground? I am going to speculate that this structural anomaly was to keep out snakes and mice and other grain eaters, which abound in this area. Since this mill was probably located in a rural area probably NOT attached to a farm, it also was a deterrent to humans who might steal the food product or valuable grinding wheels. This mill probably had two grinding stations on the second floor, two wheels per station.

The white outside coating is limestone and the inside was most likely coated in limestone also. The brick work is probably local clay that may or may not be fired. It was probably fired in a rural oven and sorta susseptible to rain.

The history of this structure before becoming a blockhouse is as fascinating as it's role in the Boer War, and further study is needed. What is also needed is a new limestone coating or this historical structure will be horribly weathered in the next 10-20 years.

So how did the soldiers enter the structure if the door had been sealed up? Well, maybe the door was not sealed up during the Boer War. Maybe the door was sealed up to protect the integrity of the structure and it's contents after the Boer War. If this structure is of fired native clay, it is very weak and the British Engineers may have sealed up the door due to weak door frame and hinges affixed to the soft bricks. Acess was perhaps made by a permanently affixed telescoping ladder. These extention latters were common in use by fire departments and were affixed to tenament fire escape balconys on multi story apartments. You can see them today. I own several modern aluminum extension ladders. The ladder would be affixed to the sloping structure and the 20 foot plus climb would not be that bad. The bottom part of the ladder could then be pulled up, so an enemy cannot climb up.
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