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Monument record MDR7161 - Bretby Mill, Repton Shrubs, Bretby

Type and Period (3)

  • (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

A mill is marked at c. SK 310 233 on the Ordnance Survey map of 1836. (1). The site is depicted on the 1st ed. 6" OS map of 1887 as Bretby Mill (flour) at the head of a mill pond on an unnamed stream flowing north to the River Trent. (3). The site is shown as 'disused' in 1924, with the mill pond depicted as marsh (4). The extensive head race and mill site was damaged slightly by sewage pipe works in 1986. (5) Earthwork features identified and mapped using good quality aerial photographs included a probable earthwork leat of post medieval date seen as an interrupted single linear feature defined by a ditch and two banks, with a maximum length of 458m, and a possible earthwork mill pond of post medieval date seen as one large (15-50m) amorphous negative feature. The leat served the original Bretby Mill (at SK3081 2396) which was about 700 metres downstream of the present mill (SK 3101 2330). This feature has been described as having a ditch and two banks; however, at the northern end it widens to form a collecting pool and at the southern end it narrows to just a ditch. The mill building is now converted to a dwelling. (6) Bretby Mill stands on the Repton Brook with the dwelling house dated 1814 alongside. The mill, however, may be up to a hundred years older. The waterwheel was at the back of the brick building, contained in a lean-to and fed from a large dam. From the wheel scrapes on the building it was probably about 18ft diameter and 5ft wide and this, together with the other machinery, was removed during the First World War. This mill was the only one on the Repton Brook to use a steam engine to supplement its output. A small engine was installed in 1850 but was not powerful enough and was therefore replaced by a 12HP engine in 1855. The mill, chimney and mill house are shown on an old postcard. In 1994 the mill was converted into a house, thus preventing the building from possible collapse. During the work several pairs of French burr stones were removed from the building but remain on the site. (7, 8) Bretby Mill (Listed grade II). Three storey brick-built water corn mill with slate roof and attic converted into a dwelling. The adjoining house is dated 1814. (9)

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1836. One Inch First Edition map, sheet 71 first issued 1836, later revisions (David and Charles reprint sheet 35). 1inch : 1mile.
  • <2> Map: OS. 1887. Sheet Derbys LVII SE 1887. 1:1560.
  • <3> Map: OS. 1924. Sheet Derbys LVII SE 1924. 1:10560.
  • <4> Map: OS. 1970. OS 1:10560.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Smith, K. 1987. Pers Comm 23-2-1987. 23-2-87.
  • <6> Index: RCHME. 1995. New National Forest Survey: 922915. 922915. p1086-7.
  • <7> Article in serial: Gifford, A. 1993. 'Watermills on the Repton Brook', Wind & Water Mills. Number 12, pp 2-9. p 7, Plate 2.
  • <8> Bibliographic reference: Gifford, A. 1999. Derbyshire Watermills: Corn Mills.. p 66, plate 25.
  • <9> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D (ed.). 2002. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology. A Gazetteer of Sites. Part VI: South Derbyshire. p 2.



Grid reference Centred SK 31063 23217 (183m by 255m) Approximate

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Record last edited

Jan 26 2024 9:49PM

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