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Scheduled Monument record MDR4063 - Calver Mill complex, Calver

Type and Period (4)

  • (Georgian to Victorian - 1785 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Georgian to Victorian - 1785 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Georgian to Victorian - 1785 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Georgian to Victorian - 1785 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

(SK 24717454 - sited from HHR map). Grade II* listed Calver Mill dated c.1780 and a splendid example of a late 18th century industrial building. Stone with stone slated roof and hipped gables. Five storeyed and attic. Projecting wing in centre of front. Circular cast iron pillars within. The wheel house has segmental arches. A six storeyed cotton mill built in 1785 by Richard Arkwright. It was large by the then contemporary standards. Used today for the production of metal products. (1) Cotton production ceased at the mill in 1923. It was used for storage during WWII and the mill yard for fluorspar processing. From 1947 the mill was used for the production of stainless steel; it was due to this that the original internal wooden floors are now constructed of concrete. The house adjacent to the mill was originally the home of the mill manager. The mill originally had two water wheels (24ft and 17ft in diameter) fed by the goit (SMR 3112) from Froggatt New Bridge (SMR 5909) via the shottle gates at Shottle House (SMR 3113). Calver Weir (3114) was enlarged around 1840. The mill yard is what was once the mill pond. Wheels were by the large doorway but were scrapped during WWII. (4) The first Calver Cotton Mill was built by John Gardom of Bubnell and John Pares of Leicester, on the site of an earlier corn mill on the Derwent. Gardom paid Arkwright a large sum to be licensed to use his spinning process at Calver. It appears that in the late 1770s a three-storey mill (the 'small mill') was built parallel to the river to house the machinery licensed from Arkwright. A few years later, probably in the late 1780s, a first 'big mill' was built. However, Calver Bridge and the weir at the mill were swept away by a flood in 1799 and in May 1802 the big mill burnt down. A new six storey mill - the present building - was then built and was in production by 1804. By 1830 it employed 200 people. The mill had a succession of owners in the late 19th century, and continued operating as a water-powered spinning mill until its closure in the early 1920s. A three-storey 'small mill' survived until the 1930s, when it was in use as a canning factory. In 1937 it was partly destroyed by fire. In 1940 the mill buildings were taken over by the Ministry of Supply as a storage depot and the yard was used to crush and wash fluorspar to be used in making wartime steel at Sheffield. In the late 1940s it was used for the manufacture of stainless steel sinks. In the 1960s it stood in as Colditz Castle in a television series. The mill complex has now been restored and converted into private apartments and houses, with work completed in 2000. (6) Listed Grade II corn mill. Imposing six storey stone block with pediment to the front and small east and west projections and central wing at the rear. The mill has cast-iron pillars and wooden flooring. It also has 36 original pane cast-iron windows. The wheel house formally contained two 22ft. waterwheels, each generating 80 hp. At the rear are later additions and associated housing accommodation and an early gritstone chimney. The main block was built in 1803-1804 replacing the original mill of 1785: the wheelhouse dates from 1834. (7) Calver Mill was rebuilt by Gardom and Pares (circa 1805) in the same style as Masson Mill, with 21 bays and six storeys plus attics, except here two octagonal towers, probably containing privies, projected from either end of the rear wall in addition to a central front protection housing stiar and offices. (8)

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Department of the Environment. 1963. DOE(HHR), Bakewell Road, Derbyshire. p13.
  • <2> Index: North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust (NDAT). North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust Index: 0566. 0566.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Richards, J. 1961. Functional Traditions.
  • <4> Index: Sissons (PPJPB). Peak Park Joint Planning Board site and monuments archive.
  • <5> Index: Council for British Archaeology (CBA). CBA Industrial Archaeology Report Card. Textile mill, Calver.
  • <6> Unpublished document: McGuire, S. 2007. Calver Weir Restoration Project. pp 8-11.
  • <7> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D (ed.). 1997. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology. A Gazetteer of Sites. Part IV. Derbyshire Dales.
  • <8> Article in serial: Menuge, A (RCHME). 1993. 'The cotton mills of the Derbyshire Derwent and its tributaries', Industrial Archaeology Reivew.



Grid reference Centred SK 24706 74606 (182m by 199m)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • EDR3926

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Record last edited

Nov 7 2023 2:11PM

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