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Listed Building record MDR4987 - Tower Mill, Spancarr, Ashover

Type and Period (1)

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Full Description

SK 342661 Spancarr, Tower Mill. A 19th century tower mill at Spancarr. It is now a roofless tower, with 4 grindstones. It was built in 1806. It has one ground floor door and several small barred windows. There are two doorways on the first floor. The mill was converted to engine power, the engine being housed in an adjoining small stone building. (1-3, 6) Beside the Chesterfield/Matlock Road (Windmill Farm), is a roofless stone tower of four storeys, with walls 2-3 ft thick and many windows. There is one ground floor door, several small barred windows, also a large hole where the drive from an engine entered. (4) This is a stone tower windmill with an associated kiln building still standing on the high moors. In 1807 the windmill was erected jointly by James and Matthew Beresford of Hazelhurst Farm. The mill is included in Farey's list in 1808 and it appears on most maps since that date. In 1816 the mill, standing in a field known as New Close, became the sole property of James, but by 1823 a Mr Francis Elliot was the miller and occupier. In 1860 the windmill and the associated 15 acres of land were valued as being worth £1200. The windmill was referred to as a smock mill and there was mention of a drying kiln being included. Milling remained in the Elliot family until at least 1888, although the sails were removed and the mill operated from a steam engine. The isolated gritstone tower, about 34ft high and 23ft diameter at the base, is four storeys high and had no cap or sails. There were no floors or machinery inside and nothing is known as to how it was equipped. Unusually there were four fireplaces inside the building, with flues passing up inside the walls. There is a stone building alongside, believed to have been the kiln and granary store. Another building, which housed the steam engine, has gone. No illustrations of the mill in operation have been found and a painting by Karl Wood in 1938 shows it much as it appears today except that he includes a small lean-to type building which may have housed the steam engine. For many years after the cap disappeared the mill, now designated with a Grade II listing, stood open to the elements, although the kiln retained its stone roof. Planning permission was granted in 1989 to incorporate the tower and kiln into a house conversion, which was completed about 1996. Although the replacement cap does not replicate any recognised design of working mill caps, the work has ensured the preservation of one of the few complete towers that remain in this area. (5)

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Index: NDAT. 0101. 0101.
  • <2> Article in serial: Brighouse, W H. 1967. 'Windmills', Derbyshire Life and Countryside. Vol. 32 (2), pp 18-21.
  • <3> Article in serial: Baker, P. H. J. and Wailes, R.. 1961-1962. The Windmills of Derbyshire..Part 2 Tower Mills. Volume 34. p89-104.
  • <4> Index: Council for British Archaeology (CBA). CBA Industrial Archaeology Report Card.
  • <5> Bibliographic reference: Gifford, A. 2003. Derbyshire Windmills Past and Present. pp 36-37, illust..
  • <6> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D. 2000. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology. Part V. North East Derbyshire. P.25.



Grid reference Centred SK 342 660 (6m by 6m) Centre

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Record last edited

Jan 16 2024 11:52PM

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