Weir Mill was rebuilt in 1807. It is a 2½ storey stone building with no machinery left and now used as a poultry house. (1)
Sometimes called 'Wire Mill' on the Ordnance maps, this ancient corn mill situated by a weir on the River Amber had its own kiln and worked until the First World War. It was clearly built in two phases, the smaller west wing being set at a slight angle to, and not bonded with, the larger wing. It is not possible to determine which section is the earlier. It has been suggested that the main building may have been an island mill at one time and that the river has been diverted subsequently round this building at some stage when the wheel by the weir would have been installed. The mill certainly dates from the 17th century according to a deed in the owner's possession. The eastern section of the mill which has two storeys and an attic appears to have a usual medieval configuration of a central waterwheel(s) with mill equipment on both sides of this central wheel space. Although the mill is believed to have been used in wire drawing operations at an unknown date, no records of this activity have been found. An insurance policy in 1805 valued the house at £60 whilst the corn mill was worth £250. When last used as a corn mill there were two waterwheels in place, one being inside the main building. The iron, eight-sided, wheelshaft and iron hubs remaining in the wheel pit suggests this could have been breastshot, about 14ft in diameter and 6ft wide. Another waterwheel was on the western end of the building quite close to the end of the weir on the river. At the eastern end of the main building, part of a large hurst frame and the mounting timbers for four pairs of millstones can be seen in the support structure of the first floor. There are also various bearing blocks etc set in the walls which do not appear to be parts of a corn mill. To the west of the central wheelpit the underside of ceramic kiln tiles can still be seen, although the tiles have been boarded over to provide a floor for the workshop above. The kiln tiles are supported on lengths of old tramway rails. In the garner floor some storage hoppers and the remains of a sack hoist are to be found. A modern fabricated breastshot waterwheel is still in place at the western end of the mill. Originally this was used to generate electricity for heating hen houses and it continues to generate electricity to satisfy the needs of the adjacent farm and a joiner's shop on what was the stone floor in the mill building. The sluices are controlled hydraulically and are servo-actuated to keep the wheel turning at a constant speed.
Bibliographic reference: 1975. Council of British Archaeology Panel on Industrial Monuments. p 14.
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Centred SK 379 535 (40m by 49m) (Centre)
SOUTH WINGFIELD, AMBER VALLEY, DERBYSHIRE
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Record last edited
Apr 11 2019 2:56PM
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