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Monument record MDR4790 - Peckwash Mill, Eaton Bank, Little Eaton

Type and Period (7)

  • (Medieval - 1200 AD to 1300 AD)
  • (Victorian - 1890 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Georgian to Victorian - 1800 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Georgian to Victorian - 1800 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Elizabethan to Georgian - 1600 AD to 1800 AD)
  • (Edwardian to Early 20th Century - 1908 AD to 1932 AD)
  • (Medieval - 1200 AD to 1300 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • World Heritage Site

Full Description

Derelict, but still impressive, this three-storey late 18th century gritstone mill building has cast iron windows, a slate roof and a substantial brick chimney of 1895. The wheel pits are clearly visible, showing the positions of five waterwheels. Also evident are the remains of a broken weir. The site is very overgrown and has no public access although a footpath skirts the perimeter. This is an ancient mill site being that of a 13th century corn mill. A charter of 1425 allowed water to be extracted from the Derwent. In the 17th century the mill changed to paper making and in the latter half of the 18th century (c. 1780) it was acquired by Thomas Tempest. In 1805 the charter permitting the extraction of water from the Derwent was renewed and by the 19th century it was one of the biggest paper mills in the country. It went out of use as a paper mill in 1906 after which it was occupied by John Sennet making "Duffield" crude-oil engines. It was then successively occupied by the Shepshed Lace Company, the Midland Angora Wool Society (spinning angora rabbit wool) and a glove making manufactory (1932). In 1939, anti-gas clothing was manufactured but from the end of the war until 1958, gloves were again made. (1) Fourdrinier paper-making machine installed 1821. Steam turbines installed 1894. (2) The Duffield parish refer to a paper mill in c. 1700. In 1740 Henry Fletcher petitioned that his paper mill had been set on fire by an Officer of Excise very carelessly. In 1851 Peckwash was listed as one of the great paper mills with ten or more beating engines, and it was said to be the only mill in the world with four papermaking machines running. (3) On this site, Thomas Tempest, 1768-1833, a corn miller, developed an extensive paper mill. The building which survives is now a dwelling. It is built of coursed stone and was erected in c. 1800. It is similar in design to an Arkwright generation cotton spinning mill, long and relatively narrow. The mill was powered by water from the river Derwent and this was channelled into a series of goits to drive several water wheels located within the mill structure itself, and on the east side of the mill. Subsequently, two turbines housed in a separate building replaced the water wheels. This building, now a garage, has an eastern bay of brick-arched and iron fire-proof construction. Steam power was introduced to the site c. 1890 and the large brick chimney which dominates the area was built at this time. This proved to be the undoing of the paper manufactory. In 1906 a neighbour successfully sued the company on grounds of smoke and pollution and in 1908 the enterprise was forced to close. Other businesses used the site until the 1960s after which the mill became derelict. In 1990 it was converted into a single residence. The building retains its original form and the rest of the site has been landscaped as a garden. The mill goits and wheel pits have been exposed and as a result much of the archaeology of the site can now be interpreted. (4) A paper mill, built before 1835. The mill is built of coursed squared stone beneath a gabled slate roof. The front elevation is three storeys tall and nine bays long. The first floor contains seven tall window openings with segmental heads and two blank bays. There is a massive circular red brick chimney. The paper mill is named on Sanderson's map of 1835. Historic maps show that it remained in use until at least 1900, had fallen into disuse by 1921 and had been converted into a woollen mill by 1938. (6) Now converted to residential use (2005). (7)

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D. 1986. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology - A Gazetteer of Sites. Part II - Borough of Erewash. pp 19-20, illust..
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Nixon, F. 1969. The Industrial Archaeology of Derbyshire. pp 206, 263.
  • <3> Article in serial: Schmoller, T. 1994. 'Some notes on Derbyshire paper mills, part 1', The Quarterly. Issue no. 9 (January), pp 1-5.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Derwent Valley Mills (DVM) Nomination Steering Panel. 2000. Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage List Nomination Document. pp 82-3, illust..
  • <5> Unpublished document: County Treasure Recording Form. 10(i).1, with photo.
  • <6> *Internet Web Site: Erewash Borough Council. List of buildings of local interest. LL/573.
  • <7> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D (ed.). 2005. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology: Gazetteer of Sites, Part II, Borough of Erewash (second edition). p.20.



Grid reference Centred SK 3533 4230 (283m by 234m)
World Heritage Site Derwent Valley Mills

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Record last edited

Dec 21 2018 9:27AM

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