Monument record MDR12037 - Upper Cupola lead smelting works (site of), Middleton Dale, Stoney Middleton

Type and Period (3)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

The present Cupola Quarry is the site of the first lead condensing flues introduced by Bishop Watson in 1778. Traces of a flue and chimney exist, possibly original and therefore late 18th century. (1) Upper Cupola was built in c. 1777 by Joseph Storrs, together with a slag mill. The cupola is shown on the Enclosure Map of 1783. After the death of two horses by bellanding due to the fume, a horizontal flue was built connecting the slag mill to a chimney some distance away. In 1799 the flue was disconnected and bellanding occurred again, resulting in a lawsuit. Storrs died in 1801, leaving the cupola to his son John who sold it to George Barker in 1803-4. There were several successive occupants during the mid 19th century; in 1862 the then occupant of the slag mill, John Fairburn, extended the slag mill flues and took over the cupola. In 1866 further legal action was threatened due to slag mill fumes, costing over £100 to settle. Fairburn continued in operation until his financial collapse in 1883. The cupola does not appear to have been used after this. The works eventually passed to the Eyam Mineral Works Ltd, together with quarrying rights, which has resulted in much obliteration. Part of the flues remain [in 1969] and there is a large pile of black slag close to the road. (2)

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Nixon, F. 1969. The Industrial Archaeology of Derbyshire. pp 279-80.
  • <2> Article in serial: Willies, L. 1969. 'Cupola lead smelting sites in Derbyshire, 1737-1900', Bulletin of the Peak District Mines Historical Society. Vol. 4, part 1. pp 110-111.



Grid reference Centred SK 2116 7576 (223m by 214m)

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Record last edited

Dec 3 2012 2:32PM

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