An apparent 17th century lead mill, now converted to a dwelling. (1)
This smelting-mill, near the junction of the Highlow brook with the Derwent, has given its name to the hamlet of Leadmill. It is first recorded in an action for trespass over rights of way in 1640, which made mention of a lead-mill, built 40 years previously on the site of a corn mill. Various further documents refer to the mill, which is mentioned for the last time in 1676. The head race originally was taken off the Highlow brook at a substantial weir at SK 23058027. It ran beneath the road at SK 23398048 to join the Derwent immediately east of the road bridge at SK 23368058. It is uncertain whether there was originally a pond or whether the race ran straight to the mill. Water appears to have been fed north-east to an area of irregular ground north of the car park for the Plough public house. This ground has recently been levelled, now concealing a depression which may have represented a wheel-pit: a feature suggesting a tail-race runs north-east towards the river. No traces of mill foundations can be seen. The slag in the bank north of the car park has been concealed by tipping. (2)
In May 1993 a trench for an overflow pipe was inserted into the area east of the road and north of the pub car park. No structural features were identified in the trench, which produced only amorphous rubble. (3-5)
An archaeological survey and photographic record of the former millpond at Leadmill was undertaken by Archaeological Research Services Ltd in 2006 prior to the conservation of the pond, which has stood empty for about 20 years. The pond was originally associated with a 17th century lead smelting mill. Leadmill Trout Farm, where the millpond is situated, has extensive remains of water management features associated with the mill to an extent that is rare in Derbyshire. The millpond is currently an irregular, sub-oval structure that has been constructed from gritstone foundations on top of the natural sandstone, with dry-stone walling on top of the foundation levels. At the time of the survey, much of the northern end had been filled in with demolition rubble. The key features remaining in the millpond are a culvert in the western end and the remains of a penstock at the eastern end. The millpond has been deemed a rare and valuable historical, archaeological and ecological feature that will be safeguarded through restoration. (6)
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