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Monument record MDR427 - Bank Vale Mill (site of), mill pond and leat, Swallow House Lane, Hayfield

Type and Period (3)

  • (Georgian to Hanoverian - 1800 AD to 1835 AD)
  • (Georgian to Hanoverian - 1800 AD to 1835 AD)
  • (Georgian to Hanoverian - 1800 AD to 1835 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

Small one- and two-storey mid 19th century gritstone mill building, one of three mills on a short upland tributary of the Sett, rising on Leygatehead Moor. The site is dominated by a detached gritstone chimney some 120-130ft high, still in use. From at least 1835 this was the paper mill of Robert Slack, later John Slack Ltd (1890s). The site is now in light industrial use. (1) Early 19th century mill still in use in 1971. (2) Shown on the OS map of 1898 as 'Bankvale Mill (Paper)', linked via a leat with a mill pond a short distance to the north. (3) Robert Slack is recorded as having founded a papermaking company soon after 1793, and from 1828 to 1835 he is recorded at Hayfield as papermaker and tanner. He retired in 1844 and the business was controlled by his three sons. According to the 1851 census, Bank Vale Paper Mill No. 24 employed 18 hands, 9 men in papermaking and 6 women. During the First World War Bank Vale produced a considerable amount of special paper to be made into waistcoats and trousers for use by troops. The mill also produced various qualities of paper for wrapping of Lancashire cotton goods, Midlands hosiery, surgical wrapping and the wrapping of tobacco and Sheffield cutlery. The business left the Slack family in 1927 and was taken over by Isherwood Bros. The mill was apparently still operating in 1971. In 1991 some of the buildings were standing and occupied for paper-related work, but no paper making was taken place. (4) Looking at modern OS maps, it appears that the site has now been redeveloped (2009). However, the mill pond still remains. (5) Imposing gritstone one and two storey buildingby the river remains, but the buildings at the north end have been destroyed. The mill is on a tributary of the River Sett. The site has been involved in paper manufacture since the early 1830s and is still occupied with a firm by the same name- Slack. Upstream are water engineering remains (a series of weirs and stone faced stream) controlling the flow into a headrace. Adjacent the mill owner's house, Oaklands, has been preserved and converted into apartments. (6) The chimney of Bank Vale Mill was felled by television personality, Fred Dibnah, who was known for his cost effective method for demolishing chimneys. He offered to remove them without using explosives, by cutting an ingress at the base of the chimney, supporting the brickwork with wooden props, and then burning away the props so that the chimney fell, hopefully in the intended direction. A number of photographs of the felling are held in the HER. (7)

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D. 1984. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology - A Gazetteer of Sites. Part I. Borough of High Peak. p 23.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Harris, H. 1971. Industrial Archaeology of the Peak District. p 216.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1896-1900. OS County Series, 2nd edition (1st revision), scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile). Sheet V.12, 1898.
  • <4> Article in serial: Schmoller, T. 1994. 'Some notes on Derbyshire paper mills, part 1', The Quarterly. Issue no. 9 (January), pp 1-5.
  • <5> Personal Observation: Manning, N. Personal observation, map evidence, field visit etc..
  • <6> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D (ed.). 2004. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology: A Gazetteer of Sites, Part I, Borough of High Peak (second edition). pp. 31.
  • <7> Photograph: Anon. Photographs of the felling of Bank Vale Mill chimney, Hayfield.



Grid reference Centred SK 031 876 (93m by 343m) (Centre)

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Record last edited

Jun 12 2015 10:25AM

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