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Site record MDR4846 - Scholes (Unwin's) Mill, Tansley

Type and Period (3)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

SK 320599. Unwins mill is a late 18th century textile mill of primitive construction. (1) Former cotton spinning mill (later used for the manufacture of red tape) with manager's house attached. Coursed gritstone rubble, Welsh Slate roof. Built in 1797 for Samuel Unwin. The wheel appears to have been set transversely partly within the mill building and contained within stone cross walls (which are not continued above ground level) with associated gear placed within low outshuts. The mill is of three storeys with a 16 window range almost identical to both sides. There is a left-hand stone end stack (for heating) with a tall brick end stack to right abutting the end wall (for the engine house, dismantled, which replaced the water-powered system in the later 19th century). The manager's house is attached to the left and is two and a half storeys high, with a four window range. (2) One of three former cotton mills in Tansley Dale, described as disused in 1960. Typical of the many early cotton mills which still survive in Derbyshire. (3) A three-storey, 16-bay gritstone mill with a later house at the west end and a brick chimney at the east. Rectangular cast-iron windows. Dam and mill pond to the north-east. Built by Samuel Unwin as a spinning mill in the late 1780s but latterly used for storage. Nearby another Unwin Mill built in the late 1780s still stands with dam and mill pond to the north east. The mill is a three storey, eight bay stone building with an almost horizontal single-pitch roof. (4) In the late 18th century Scholes Mill was built as an industrial cotton smallware mill. A manager's house was built onto the mill structure soon after the original construction. Further additions occurred when the mill was converted to steam power, as the area which housed the water wheel became the boiler house. These extensions took place before the printing of the OS 1st ed. 25" map (1878) as the map records the mill as having a similar ground plan to that which can be seen today. In the 1940s the Army occupied the mill and made some additions to the structure but by 1952 Scholes Mill was derelict and mainly used for storage. There is a lack of documentary evidence for the mill and little appears to be known about it. A building survey in 2007 recorded the remaining fabric of the mill and noted that it had undergone some minor extensions between its construction and the first recorded maps of the 19th century. The mill was converted to steam power between its construction in 1782 and the printing of Tansley Tithe Map in 1846. (5) During the excavation of a lift shaft pit at the derelict Scholes Mill site, the intact wheel-pit and tail race of the former mill was revealed. This was drawn and photographed. Rotational scarring visible on the walls of the wheel-pit indicated that the wheel had been approximately 12m in diameter. (6) A pre-conversion archaeological building recording at Scholes Mill in 2010 established that the mill manager's house pre-dates the main mill structure and may have been an earlier mill structure dating from the late 18th century. The present mill range was added later, around the early to mid 19th century, incorporating part of the original building (the Manager's House) on the east. The original structure was then modified in to a dwelling house with heated rooms. (7) subsequently truncated and re-used when the larger 19th century mill was built.

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: CBA Panel on Indust Mons 1975 12.
  • <2> Listed Building File: 1990. Notification of Listing. 3/3159/171.
  • <3> Index: Council for British Archaeology (CBA). CBA Industrial Archaeology Report Card. Cotton Mills, Tansley.
  • <4> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D (ed.). 1997. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology. A Gazetteer of Sites. Part IV. Derbyshire Dales. p 51.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Brightman, J (ARS). 2007. Scholes Mill, Tansley, Matlock. Desk Based Assessment and Building Recording.. SMR Doc. No. 1026.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Thornton, A (ARS Ltd). 2007. Scholes Mill, Tansley, Matlock: Watching Brief on Groundworks for Lift Shaft Pit.
  • <7> Unpublished document: Mora-Ottomano, A (ARS). 2010. Archaeological building recording at Scholes Mill Manager's House, Tansley, Derbyshire.



Grid reference Centred SK 318 599 (171m by 191m) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (3)

  • EDR3110
  • EDR2408
  • EDR2425

Please contact the HER for details.

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Mar 15 2020 11:53AM

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