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Monument record MDR13246 - Stoke lead smelting mill (site of), Stoke Brook, Calver

Type and Period (3)

  • (Elizabethan to Georgian - 1575 AD? to 1770 AD?)
  • (Elizabethan to Georgian - 1575 AD? to 1770 AD?)
  • (Elizabethan to Georgian - 1575 AD? to 1770 AD?)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

Stoke smelting mill was probably built by Charles Cavendish after Stoke manor was granted to him by his mother, the countess of Shrewsbury, in 1573. An inventory of 1585 shows goods valued at over £46 'in Stooke at makeinge of lead'. A more certain reference to the mill occurs in a document of 1608 confirming the lease of land in the lordship of Stoke together with 'one lead milne or smilting howse' and access to it. Included were rights to cut wood, to dig pits for production of white-coal or charcoal, to alter watercourses and to quarry stone for repairing the mill, weir or coal stores. By 1610 Sir Charles Cavendish had leased the mill to local lead merchants and over succeeding decades miners sent small amounts of lead ore to be smelted there. The mill was used until late in the 18th century when the need for repair probably led to closure early in the 1770s. The smelting mill lay north of the Stoke Brook, in the field east of the modern road and west of the causeway used by an earlier road. The head race, shown on William Senior's map of Stoke dated 1630, left the Stoke Brook at approximately SK 237753, but the weir has been washed away and the race obscured by hillwash and the modern road embankment. It fed a small pond, the earthwork outlines of which are barely discernible. The site of the mill is marked by masonry, possibly the edge of the wheel-pit, exposed in cattle tread beneath a tree which appears to grow from a filled channel. Scatters of slag surround this point, exposed in mole-hills. Small amounts of slag can also be found immediately east of the causeway. Burdett's map of 1765 shows this mill, and another to the east of the old road. (1) Archaeological survey in 2003 identified a building platform with slag on the surface at the site of Stoke lead smelting mill. The building platform is defined to the north, east and west by lynchets up to 0.6m high. No trace of the mill pond could be seen at the time of survey. The smelting mill would have had an ore hearth, a kind of furnace first introduced to Derbyshire in the 1570s, not long before the mill was built. (2)

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <1> Article in serial: Crossley, D & Kiernan, D. 1992. 'The lead-smelting mills of Derbyshire', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Vol. 112, pp 6-47. p 20, Site 1.11.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Ullathorne, A (PDNPA). 2003. Knouchley Farm, Calver, Stoney Middleton, Grindleford and Eyam, Derbyshire, archaeological field survey, upland option, 2003. p 5, Feature 6A.



Grid reference Centred SK 2392 7536 (38m by 43m)

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Record last edited

Jul 12 2016 12:01PM

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