The Lower Cupola (Lord's Cupola) appears to have operated as an ore hearth, Lord's Smelt Mill, in 1740. Probably at that time, and certainly later, it was kept by the Lords of the Manor and run by the Stoney Middleton and Eyam Barmaster ostensibly for the benefit of the poor miners, providing them with a cupola available for hire at fixed rates per shift, and preventing over-exploitation by the lead smelter-merchants. Burdett's map of 1762-67 shows a mill on this site but the first reference to it as a cupola comes from 1781, which may suggest the cupola had not long been built. In 1803-1810 it was included amongst the four Stoney Middleton and Eyam cupolas selling lead, and after 1820 there was an almost unbroken sequence of annual accounts until 1900. After working at a loss in the late 1830s it was let to Thomas Eyre in 1838 and he continued buying ore into the mid 1840s. The slag mill was let out before this, in 1828, and seems to have been used only spasmodically before being converted into a paint works (barytes) in c. 1840. In about 1850, Barker and Rose took over the cupola and occupied it until Christmas 1872. It appears then to have been out of use until 1881 when the Eyam Mining Company took the tenancy subject to the cupola being in workable condition. In 1885 they gave up possession without having used the cupola and it does not appear to have worked after this. The building is shown as 'Lower Cupola' on the 1" Ordnance Survey map of 1834 and as Rock Mill on later editions. The buildings today  are altered and dilapidated, but its form can still be discerned. Part of the wheel survives and the leat can be traced. (1)
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 106-107.
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Centred SK 2233 7567 (203m by 83m)
STONEY MIDDLETON, DERBYSHIRE DALES, DERBYSHIRE
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Dec 3 2012 3:09PM
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