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Monument record MDR10160 - Duke of Devonshire's Mill or Whittington Mill, Whittington, Chesterfield

Type and Period (3)

  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

Sanderson shows this mill lying on the south side of the River Whitting, with a short leat leading to a long narrow millpond. The mill is named 'Whittington Mill (Flour)' on the 1st ed. 25" OS map and 'Whittington Mill (Corn)' on the 2nd ed. (1-3) In 1962 Whittington Mill was still standing with every item of its machinery and miller's tools complete. There was a mill on or near the site in the 16th century, as shown by the field-name "Milnholme" in a Hardwick deed of 1599, and by the presence near the weir of a broken millstone inscribed 1679. Papers in Chesterfield Borough Library dated 1735 refer to 'pulling down ye Old Miln and Kiln' and detail the complete rebuilding of the mill and dam in 1735 and 1736, including the mason's, labourer's and millwright's bills and expenses. The present mill [in 1962] is a gritstone building of four floors, about 50ft long and 35ft wide. There must have been another rebuilding, or at least considerable alteration, since 1735, for whereas the documents refer to two waterwheels, there is now only one. There are five pairs of stones which were all driven from a long horizontal driving-shaft which runs across the whole width of the building. (4) The site is probably quite ancient and deeds relating to a field named 'Milnholme' in 1599 have been noted, as has a fragment of millstone carrying the date '1679'. The mill and kiln buildings were rebuilt in 1735/36 at a total cost of £195-12s-8d. Two new waterwheels, one cog wheel and two new shafts cost £11 but strangely there is no mention of any new millstones (five pairs). John Candy and Joe Thorpe were millers in 1835; Michael Askew, 1846-50; John Elliott 1887-91 and Thomas Elliott from 1895-1904. However nothing now remains on site to demonstrate its milling history. (5) Whittington Mill. Three storey 18th century former water corn mill built in local freestone with a slate roof; now (2000) incorporated into a garden centre. The mill pond is now filled in. (6) Visited in 2007. The garden centre and car park are on the site of the mill pond. The mill is a freestanding building, at the south-eastern edge of the car park, on the corner of Station Road and the north side of Whittington Way. (7) The original mill on this site must have been very old and dated back to at least the 1500s. It was probably too small for the growing community around it, so in 1735, the Duke of Devonshire was obliged to build a new one, therefore construction on the same site for a new mill began in 1736. The building still stands today and was used as a water mill up to the early 1920s, although it must have had many variations and alterations through its working life. The black stone for the base of the mill wheels came from Hull to Bawtrey, and then had to be carted from there. The main millwright was John Haslam, and most of the wood to build the mill was from the land of Mr. Richard Dixon and Mr. Hinde. The stone used to build it was from a local quarry near Broomhill. There appears to be two millstones used at the time it was built and there was a smaller mill working at the back. (8)

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Map: Sanderson, G. 1835. Twenty Miles round Mansfield.
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1882. OS County Series, 1st edition, scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile). Sheet XVIII.14.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1896-1900. OS County Series, 2nd edition (1st revision), scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile). Sheet XVIII.14, 1898.
  • <4> Article in serial: Oakley, R. 1962. 'Whittington Mill', Derbyshire Miscellany. Vol. 2 (8), pp 384-390.
  • <5> Bibliographic reference: Gifford, A. 1999. Derbyshire Watermills: Corn Mills.. C13, p 117.
  • <6> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D. 2000. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology. Part V. North East Derbyshire. p 16.
  • <7> Personal Observation: Brown, J. Observation based on personal experience, map evidence, site visit etc..
  • <8> Unpublished document: Nurse, T. 2003. Whittington, before its industrial revolution.



Grid reference Centred SK 38189 74317 (142m by 105m)

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Record last edited

Jul 3 2015 8:52AM

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