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Site record MDR3843 - Alport Smelt Mill, 157m north-north-east of The Mill, Harthill

Type and Period (6)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

Some slag heaps still exist between hillside and river, buildings and the steam engine, reverbatory furnace and duplex fan have all gone. (1,4). SK 2231 6481. Shaft. (2). The Ordnance Survey 1" of c.1845-1850 shows the cupola, but it is not listed in Bagshaw (1846). Listed by White in 1857 and Percy in 1870. Barker and Rose seem to have occupied it throughout its existence until its closure in 1874 or 1875. The siting was presumably to serve the Alport Mines which were largely a Barker family concern. The mines would seem to have been nearing the end of their prosperous years at that time, and Percy's description and plan of the site suggests it was soon adapted to slag and linnet-ore smelting also. The site today has buildings and flue remains much as described by Percy, plus large heaps of a granular black slag possibly derived from the Spanish Slag hearth. It will be surveyed in the near future. (3). Major remains of Alport smelt mill, a lead smelter built and worked between 1850 and 1870. It retains remnants of flues, furnaces, chimneys etc. (4). The smelting flue complex makes four horizontal traverses of the hillside and is substantially complete. It culminates in a chimney stump incorporating a scrubber. This was a principal smelting works of the late 19th century. (5). Featured in John Percy's Metallurgy of Lead, 1870. (6). Headrace and tail race still identifiable. Complex zigzag flue system is well preserved, with arched, lintelled and tunnelled lengths. Fume deposits adhere to flue sides. Flue leads to wide square chimney with semi circular addition. Works closed about 1875. (7). Remains of lead processing furnace and flues from mining along the hillside. The condenser and chimney date to c.1850 to 1870. Lead smelting remains continue along to SK 223 648. (8). Scheduled. The smelt mill lies in a steep wooded valley cut into the limestone plateau. It includes the remains of reverberatory smelting furnaces and Spanish slag hearths together with a complex system of flues, condensers and chimney. The whole site was described in detail in 1870 as an example of contemporary best practice. The condensing system is particularly well preserved and retains residues important to the study of lead smelting, but the slag tips and some ruins of the smelt mill buildings also survive. These latter features lie on the flat valley floor, while the condensing system occupies the steep hillside to the south. (9). Ruins of the flue system of the Baker family's former lead smelt. (11)

Sources/Archives (11)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Percy, J. 1870. Metallurgy of Lead.
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1955. 6".
  • <3> 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 97-98.
  • <4> Bibliographic reference: Hill, R (PPJPB). 1985. Peak Park Treasures. Willies, L, 27/11/1970, C40.
  • <5> Bibliographic reference: Council for British Archaeology (CBA). 1975. Panel on Industrial Monuments.
  • <6> Bibliographic reference: Willies, L. 1989. Historic Metallurgy Society conference guide.
  • <7> Personal Observation: Willies, L. 1989. Pers. Comm..
  • <8> Index: North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust (NDAT). North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust Index. 1049.
  • <9> Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1996. Scheduling Notification: Alport Smelt Mill. 24977. Cat. No.:375.
  • <10> Index: Council for British Archaeology (CBA). CBA Industrial Archaeology Report Card. Alport Smelting Works.
  • <11> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D (ed.). 1997. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology. A Gazetteer of Sites. Part IV. Derbyshire Dales.



Grid reference Centred SK 22285 64802 (268m by 182m)

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Record last edited

Feb 7 2019 1:44PM

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