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Monument record MDR4872 - Lea Mill (site of), Lea Brook, Riber Road, Lea

Type and Period (7)

  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ? (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • World Heritage Site Buffer Zone

Full Description

A map of 1718 (based on an earlier map of 1635) shows a watermill at the south-west corner of a block of woodland called 'The Swine Park and the Green'. The mill building is depicted with two storeys and a wheel. (1) There is a 'Mill Pond' shown on a late 19th century OS map with associated buildings shown as 'Lea Mill (Corn, Disused)'. But on a later 19th century OS map the mill pond is silted up and the site is shown as 'Lea Mill (Disused)'. (2, 3) Lea Mill. A corn mill at Lea, said to be a quarter of a mile from Cromford, was advertised in the Derby Mercury in 1803. It had 'four pairs of stones, dressing machines, granaries and all conveniences'. The head of water was noted as 36 feet and supply was described as plentiful. Two mills are shown at Lea on Burdett's map [of 1767] but both appear to be rather more than a quarter of a mile from Cromford. (4) This site in Swinepark Wood is recorded as the disused Lea corn mill on the 1880 OS 1:2500 map. Remains include a weir, a dam with external stone revetment, a choked wheel-pit and traces of the mill building. Lead smelting slag has been found to the south of the building remains and this, together with the lead content of a sample taken from the stream in the vicinity, suggest that this site was formerly one of the Lea Brook smelting mills, although no documentary material for lead smelting can be safely associated with this site. (5) This mill is on the Dethick side of the manor boundary but, while it was known as "Dethick Mill" in the 1851 census, later in the 19th century it was called "Lea Mill". It became disused before the census in 1881. Traces of mill buildings can still be found. The pictogram on a map of 1718 shows that it had an undershot waterwheel. There are the remains of a weir and a small dam with an external stone revetment on the north side of the valley, upstream from the house, which is now a private dwelling. The water was taken to the wheelpit (now choked) by a cast iron pipe of rectangular cross-section through the western end of the dam. The tailrace fed a pond which presumably provided the water supply for the next mill downstream. In the censuses and trade directories Charles Else senior was the miller in 1829, followed by Charles Else junior from 1841 to 1871. (6)

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Map: 1718. A True Plan of the Lordship of Dethick.. .. (as taken in the year 1635); DRO 1088 M/P1. 1.
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1882. OS County Series, 1st edition, scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile). XXXIV-8.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1896-1900. OS County Series, 2nd edition (1st revision), scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile). XXXIV-8, 1899.
  • <4> Bibliographic reference: Gifford, A. 1999. Derbyshire Watermills: Corn Mills.. p 73.
  • <5> Article in serial: Crossley, D & Kiernan, D. 1992. 'The lead-smelting mills of Derbyshire', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Vol. 112, pp 6-47.
  • <6> Article in serial: Wigglesworth, G. 2006. 'The mills on Lea Brook, Derbyshire', Wind & Water Mills. Number 25, pp 2-26. pp 6-7, Fig. 3.



Grid reference Centred SK 3231 5781 (102m by 36m) (Centre)

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Record last edited

Dec 21 2018 9:27AM

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