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Building record MDR6863 - Bamford Mill complex, Mill Lane, Bamford

Type and Period (4)

  • (Georgian to Mid 20th Century - 1780 AD? to 1965 AD)
  • (Georgian - 1720 AD? to 1780 AD?)
  • ? (Tudor to Georgian - 1540 AD to 1720 AD?)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

Bamford Mill. A gritstone mill building, principally of 3 storeys, dominated by a tall brick chimney. The building used for reception has a small, square clock tower with a pyramid roof and ball finial. The same finial is to be seen on the eaves of other buildings. It was originally a corn mill (some traces remain in the south-west corner) but from 1872 it was worked by a local farmer and miller, Christopher Kirk, as a cotton mill. It burnt down in 1791 and in subsequent rebuilding, power spinning was introduced, first using the water power of the River Derwent. A beam engine was installed during the 19th century which was replaced in 1907 by a Musgrave compound steam engine which continued in use until 1965. Now [in 1984] owned by Carbolite furnaces Ltd. (1) Enlarged c. 1850. The waterwheel was later replaced by turbines. The building was used as a cotton doubling mill until 1965. At this time all the machinery, excepting the 1907 engine, was scrapped. (2) Cotton mill from 1782; rebuilt 1791 after a fire. A beam engine was installed in the 19th century, and a Musgrave engine in 1907. The turbines are still [in 1971] used for electricity generation. (3) In 1721 and 1744 records in Sheffield Archives show a walk mill or fulling mill rented by Thomas Littlewood and George and John Yellot. Indentures of 1781 and 1788 refer for the first time to a cotton mill. By 1809 the mill was owned by Jacob Broster and had mill, weir and goyt structures. Broster made notes on the capacity of the mill in 1826-7. A second survey by Fairbank in 1827 showed that the mill was three-storeyed and had a bucket-type wheel. It had a stream house, drying house, smithy, dwelling house, 2 cottages, barn stable, cow house and associated land. Between 1827 and 1840 the mill was acquired by S M Moore and later his son W C Moore. It is known that they had a workforce of 100. Andrews (1948) describes the mill in detail. (4, 5) There is a working twin compound mill engine at the mill dated to 1902. It is now a rare piece of machinery and is probably the only one within the county that is still operable. (6) The mill engine replaced an older, probably beam, engine built by J Musgrave, in 1907. Tandem compound, 400 horse power cylinders, 16" diameter piston valves. Stroke 3 ft. rpm 100. Boiler pressure, 170 lbs. Flywheel, 15 ft diameter, 14 ropes. Air pump below the crosshead. Doubling machinery was scrapped in 1965 when the mill was sold, although the engine was preserved by the new owners and run on the last Friday of the month [in 1969]. (7). The cotton mill at Bamford, built in 1782 on the River Derwent, was in an old corn mill. This was often the case during the period of sudden expansion of the cotton trade. (8) Bamford Mill originated as a water-powered cotton spinning and doubling mill built by Christopher Kirk c. 1780 alongside the River Derwent in Bamford. This early mill was destroyed by fire in October 1791 and rebuilt by H C Moore as a thirteen bay mill. At this time a house was built for the mill manager. By 1857 a 60 horse-power steam engine had been installed to power the mill and the site was further enlarged. The mill was sold in 1885 and by 1898 had been further enlarged. The complex continued to expand during the early part of the 20th century. Fine Spinners and Doublers Ltd purchased the site in 1902 and may have installed the tandem-compound horizontal steam engine in or shortly after 1907, the date of its manufacture. The mill remained operational as a textile factory until 1965. It was then used for the manufacture of electric furnaces, with its steam engine kept in working order. The site closed again at the end of the 20th century and was then converted to residential use, with the engine house, horizontal engine, rope race and associated drives being retained as evidence of the site's original function. However, the boiler house and chimney were demolished and the engine can no longer be operated under steam. (9)

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D. 1984. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology - A Gazetteer of Sites. Part I. Borough of High Peak. p 6.
  • <2> Index: NDAT. 0195. 0195.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Harris, H. 1971. Industrial Archaeology of the Peak District. pp 112-3, 189.
  • <4> Article in serial: Makepeace, G (Hunter Archaeological Society). 1987. 'An archaeological survey of Bamford and Hathersage Outseats, Derbyshire', Trans. Hunter Arch. Soc.. Volume 14, pp 43-55.
  • <5> Bibliographic reference: Andrews, M. 1948. Long Ago in Peakland.
  • <6> Index: Smith, M. W.. Peak Park Treasures C 53. C53.
  • <7> Index: Council for British Archaeology (CBA). CBA Industrial Archaeology Report Card. Bamford Mill, Jan. 1969.
  • <8> Bibliographic reference: Gifford, A. 1999. Derbyshire Watermills: Corn Mills.. A6, p 28.
  • <9> Unpublished document: English Heritage. 2012. Advice Report: Bamford Mill Complex. Case Number 464285.



Grid reference Centred SK 205 833 (87m by 108m) Approximate

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Record last edited

Mar 21 2023 12:03PM

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