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Listed Building record MDR5071 - Tansley Wood Mill and mill ponds, Lumsdale, Tansley

Type and Period (3)

  • (Georgian to 21st Century - 1783 AD to 2050 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

Tansley Wood Mills, Lumsdale. A complicated series of two and three storey stone buildings of various dates partly converted to residential use. The oldest building on the site was a large spinning and candlewick mill built by Edward Radford in 1799. The complex is now in multiple use. A bleach works at SK 313603 appears to be part of the same group. (1) The first mill buildings on the site were erected in 1783. This first development was financially unsound and collapsed in c. 1792 when the mill was taken over by Miss Willoughby who had several other mills in the area. From the outset the mill manufactured candlewick. To this was added doubling and bleaching, until 1871 when the property was leased to a firm of worsted spinners. In 1889 the property was leased to F H Drabble, a waste merchant, fuller and bleacher. Drabbles developed the site extensively and continued in the hosiery waste business until 1955, after which time the sole business became bleaching, dyeing and finishing. This continued until July 1999, the surplus buildings being converted into a small industrial estate. The earliest building of 1783 is substantially intact. Its wheelpit was the subject of a survey by the Matlock History Group in 1991. An illustration shows the site in 1845 and all the historic structures shown in this illustration are thought to have survived. (2) Tansley Wood Mill, Listed Grade II. Textile Factory, empty at time of inspection in 2000. Built in 1783, with additions of c. 1794 and early C19. (3) After the expiry of one of Richard Arkwright's patents in 1783, work started immediately in building a new mill at Tansley to produce spun cotton thread. The first buildings were erected on the site by Messrs Osgathorpe and Prestwidge; however the project failed when the owners were declared bankrupt. In 1792 the lease was taken over by Miss Frances Willoughby who, with her partner John Radford, converted the mill to make candlewick. Farey in 1807 refers to 'a candlewick mill in Tansley', noting it to be one of only four such mills in the county at that time. In the 1840s, Tansley Wood Mill was owned by Thomas and Edward Radford and the business was described as 'linen and cotton candlewick manufacturers'. In 1851 an agreement over water rights made the last reference to making candlewick, at which time the site also included a bleach works. In 1890 the Radford family leased the mill to Frederick Henry Drabble and the mill became known as 'Drabbles Mill', being used for the recovery of hosiery waste. It expanded further into dyeing and bleaching in the early 20th century, but finally ceased operations in July 1999. The water supply for Tansley Wood Mill came from the Bentley Brook and was stored in two large mill ponds. (4)

Sources/Archives (5)

  • --- Unpublished document: Arrowsmith, P, Nevell, M, Hradil, I, and S Stockley (UMAU). 2001. Tansley Wood Mill: an Archaeological Building Survey and Desk-based Assessment of a Late 18th, 19th and 20th century Textile Mill Complex in Lumbsdale, Matlock, Derbyshire.
  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D (ed.). 1997. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology. A Gazetteer of Sites. Part IV. Derbyshire Dales. p 51.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Charlton, C. 1999. Research notes and illustrations produced to accompany a request to DCMS for listing.
  • <3> Listed Building File: 2000. Listing Notification. 668/8/10032.
  • <4> Article in serial: Gifford, A. 2005. 'Tansley Wood Mill, Matlock. A Derbyshire 'bump' mill', Wind & Water Mills. Number 24, pp 46-55.



Grid reference Centred SK 31281 60062 (145m by 209m)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • EDR4632
  • EDR2669

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Record last edited

Nov 12 2023 8:55PM

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