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Monument record MDR10164 - Howley Mill lead smelting mill and corn mill (possible site of), Holymoorside, Holymoorside and Walton

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

This site of this mill, on the north side of Loads Road, seems to be the oldest mill site in Holymoorside. An entry in a manor court roll of 1501 mentions 'A road leading from the upper of le Loods to Hole Myln, which was a common road to the tenants there'. The road must be identical, in part, with the narrow road still leading from the Loads region through the waterworks to Chander Lane, ending at a point nearly opposite the site of the mill pond. This pond, running parallel with the brook beween farm buildings and Chander Lane, is now dry but a sluice-gate still survives at the north-west end. A deed of 1599 mentions 'a watermill called Holly Milne' and another deed of 1634 refers to the corn mill at Howley alias Holley More. At this time the mill was part of the estates of the Clarke family of Somersall Hall. Probably in the mid-17th century a lead-smelting mill came into operation near this site. It was closed down in about 1656 but later re-opened. In 1667 Godfrey Clarke of Somersall leased to George Birds of Stanton Hall, Youlgreave for seven years a 'Lead Mill or Smelting House on Hawley Moor commonly called Longe Chimney' and in 1671 there were at Howley Moore, in addition to a water corn mill, two 'smilting mills for the meltinge of leade oare and makeinge of leade', in the occupation of Godfrey Watkinson and George Birds. In 1745 the mill was worked by Joseph Cundy who lived in a cottage adjoining the dam. The mill was still part of the estates of the Clarke family. Attached to the deed is a complete list of the machinery and implements of the mill at this time [listed in the source document]. The deed contains no reference to lead smelting, which suggests that activity had ceased here by 1745. The mill remained in the hands of the Cundy family for many years. In 1824 the estate was broken up into small lots and Cundy purchased the mill which he occupied as tenant. The sale notice and accompanying map, combined with the earlier Clarke documents, enable the site to be identified with Holly or Hole Mill, although that name had been forgotten by 1824. It is not known when the mill ceased working. (1) It has proved impossible to separate the lead smelting industry from corn milling in the Holymoorside area as the sites of early smelters tended to become the corn mills for the valley when the supply of lead ore ran out. One such smelter was probably located at SK 338694, near to the centre of the village, on the Loads Brook. It was owned by the Cundy family for many years and an inventory of the estate of Abraham Cundy gives much interesting information. Cundy is recorded as 'miller deceased' but the inventory refers to 'all the lead belonging to the kilne', so he was probably also a lead smelter. The name Howley Mill may be a corruption of 'Holey Mill', so named in a deed of 1599. In 1745 the corn mill was worked by Joseph Cundy, who paid a rental of £25 per year. A contemporary inventory records water wheels (?two), two shafts, 'a pair of Blackstones', 'a pair of stones on wheat', 'a pair of stones for shulling' and 'a mettle grate in kiln'. The mill was sold in 1824, as 'Holy Mead, complete with a homestead, cornmill, stables etc.' and was purchased by the then tenant, Joseph Cundy. William Hayes was the miller in 1835. It was again offered for sale, by auction, in March 1867, described as 'A well appointed and accustomed stone built water mill - with efficient stones, gearings and machinery - ample power supplied from natural streams flowing through the property - complete with two spacious and well constructed dams belonging to the mill'. Isaac Hay was the miller in 1876 but no miller is listed for 1895 and the end of the mill is unclear. One report suggests that a turbine was fitted at some time but this has not been confirmed and in 1975 only a millstone in the farmyard remained to mark its long life as a mill. This stone could not be found in 1997. (2)

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <1> Article in serial: Oakley, R. 1961. 'The mills of Holymoorside', Derbyshire Miscellany. Vol 2 (6), pp 330-339. Site A, pp 330-333.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Gifford, A. 1999. Derbyshire Watermills: Corn Mills.. C20, pp 122-123, illust..



Grid reference Centred SK 3363 6940 (57m by 56m) (Approximate)

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Record last edited

Apr 24 2015 2:46PM

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