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Monument record MDR11630 - Corn mill and iron works (site of), Loscoe Dam, Loscoe

Type and Period (3)

  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

The first blast furnace to be built in the East Midlands was constructed at Codnor by Sir John Zouch of Codnor Castle. He was succeeded by another John Zouch who, when heavily in debt, turned to his neighbour Sir Francis Willoughby of Wollaton to borrow money in return for a lease of his ironworks. A draft indenture of 1591 mentions one furnace, two forges, four fineries and two chaferies at Codnor, Heanor and Duffield. Zouch also undertook, among other things, to erect one new blast furnace. The agreement was confirmed in an indenture of 1594 which demised to Willoughby for a period of 20 years a forge, furnace or ironworks called Loscoe mill, in addition to other property. The scheme to build a second furnace at Codnor in addition to that at Loscoe seems never to have been carried out. The Zouch ironworks appear to have remained in use until 1611 but nothing more is heard of them after that date. The dam on the tributary of the River Erewash at Loscoe is still shown on the modern Ordnance Survey map and thus locates the site of the furnace. (1) Two likely areas for the siting of a water-powered blast-furnace were identified at the south-eastern and south-western ends of Loscoe Dam by Patrick Strange in 1987. The site lies in the area of the Godkin opencast site. No evidence of any structure is thought to have been encountered. (2). Loscoe Dam was impounded by John Zouch in order to drive the bellows for his furnaces, a whole series of which he established on the coalfield. The site was later occupied by a corn mill before the colliery infringed on the south-east corner of the site. (3) Loscoe Dam was first mentioned in the Derbyshire Assize Rolls of 1300 and contemporary documents held at Belvoir Castle refer to 'Loscoe Mill'. The dam appears to have been constructed by Richard, Baron Grey of Codnor for the twin purposes of powering a corn mill and also for ensuring that there was an adequate supply of fish available for the nearby Codnor Castle. In the late 16th century the water contained by the dam was used to power an iron works which was built by Sir John Zouch of the Castle. An advertisement in the Derby Mercury of March 6 1844 offers: 'For Sale - Loscoe water corn mill, with three pairs of stones, supplied by a dam covering 20 acres of land'. The mill was therefore still working at that time but it is not clear when it closed. The land immediately below the mill dam was opened up in 1908 and developed as Ormonde colliery and all traces of waterways and mill buildings were lost although the mill pond survives. (4) The mill is depicted on Sanderson's map of 1835, separated from the mill pond by a road. (5) The possible site of the furnace was visited at the commencement of open cast coal mining in early 1998; however, no evidence of archaeological features was seen. (6)

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Riden, P. 1982. The Charcoal Iron Industry in the East Midlands - A Gazetteer of Sites.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Correspondence & maps relating to the Godkin Opencast Coal Site.
  • <3> Index: Council for British Archaeology (CBA). CBA Industrial Archaeology Report Card. iron furnace/forge.
  • <4> Bibliographic reference: Gifford, A. 1999. Derbyshire Watermills: Corn Mills.. B36, p 84.
  • <5> Map: Sanderson, G. 1835. Twenty Miles round Mansfield.
  • <6> Personal Observation: Barrett, D. Observations from map/aerial photographs, site visit or other personal communication. Site visit, 1998.



Grid reference Centred SK 42697 47873 (191m by 132m)

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Record last edited

May 5 2015 12:51PM

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