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Monument record MDR439 - Torr Mill (site of), Union Road, The Torrs, New Mills

Type and Period (2)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

Torr Mill, originally known as Schofield Mill, was present by 1794. It is shown on a plan of 1828, at which time it had several adjacent workers' cottages. (1) The building was destroyed by fire in 1838 but presumably was rebuilt, as John Schofield owned and occupied a cotton mill and yard on the site in 1841. The factory ceased functioning as a cotton mill in the 1890s. In 1904 it was occupied by a firm of linen yarn spinners and in 1911 by fustian cutters. In 1912 the 5-storey building was burned down and was never re-opened. In 1974 the ruins were tidied up as part of the Torrs Scheme. (2) A small section of preserved wall remains, close to the confluence of the Sett and the Goyt. It was a cotton spinning mill in 1891. (3) Little is known of the origins of Torr Mill, but records indicate that it was built for the Schofield family around the 1790s. A plan of 1828 showed that it consisted of two mill buildings. The larger, which contained the water wheel, measured 28yds by 15yds, the other was 15yds by 8yds. The width of the larger mill would accommodate spinning mules, confirmed by a survey of 1811 which recorded 2808 spindles in Schofield's mill, twelve mules of 216 spindles and two mules of 108 spindles. The business remained in the Schofield family until 1912 and was leased to a variety of occupiers. The mill suffered a destructive fire in 1838, but was rebuilt and, during the 1840s, significantly extended to five storeys in height, to accommodate the transition to steam power. By 1846 it was using steam power in tandem with the water wheel. In 1912 the mill suffered a second fire and was burned down, after which it never re-opened. (4) A building survey, evaluation and watching brief revealed evidence of at least three phases of mill structure and construction of ancillary buildings. The first phase encompassed the period of ownership from construction of the mill until the 1840s conversion to steam-power. Surviving features included the Goyt leat, the tailrace, evidence of workers' cottages and an external wall of the mill building. Evidence of the fire of 1838 was discovered in one of the trenches. For the second phase of activity (from the 1840s to the fire of 1912), modifications of the water wheel pit were identified, although no physical evidence of steam-operated machinery was encountered, nor could the location of an engine or boiler house be identified. However, features such a cobbled and sandstone flagged yards and floor surfaces were exposed, one of which contained surface evidence of bolt holes and scars of machine bed impressions. Finally, debris from the fire of 1912 was encountered within the upstanding remains in the south-west corner of the complex. (5) A watching brief was carried out during the construction of a hydro generator in the River Goyt. A number of features were identified, including walls, sections of flagstone floors, part of the wheel pit containing a rusted section of water wheel, the original water inlet arch and the remnants of a second arch. The majority of the features probably relate to the construction of the mill in the late 18th century. (6) Residual walls, doorway enterance and truncated chimney are all that remain of a small water-powered cotton mill. (7)

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Brumhead, D D. 1996. The Economic History of New Mills in Bowden Middlecale c. 1640-1876. PhD Thesis..
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Symonds, J V. 1991. The Mills of New Mills.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D. 1984. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology - A Gazetteer of Sites. Part I. Borough of High Peak. p 28.
  • <4> Unpublished document: McPhillips, S (Oxford Archaeology North). 2003. The Torrs, New Mills: Archaeological Desk Based Assessment.
  • <5> Unpublished document: McPhillips, S (Oxford Archaeology North). 2004. Torr Mill, New Mills, Derbyshire: Archaeological Evaluation, Survey and Watching Brief.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Marshall, B and Thornton, A (ARS). 2008. An Archaeological Watching Brief at Torr Weir, New Mills, Derbyshire.
  • <7> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D (ed.). 2004. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology: A Gazetteer of Sites, Part I, Borough of High Peak (second edition). pp. 38.



Grid reference Centred SK 000 852 (52m by 45m) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

  • EDR2681
  • EDR1868
  • EDR1870

Please contact the HER for details.

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Mar 15 2020 9:16AM

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