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Monument record MDR7224 - Remains of windmill, Melbourne

Type and Period (2)

  • (Former Type) (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Early 20th Century to 21st Century - 1901 AD to 2050 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

Remains of windmill mound. (1) (SK 377 245) A windmill symbol is depicted on the OS map of 1887. (2) By 1924 it was disused (3) and is marked as an Observation Tower in 1970 (4). A concrete observation platform has been added, but the main body of the brick built windmill survives. (5) Prominent observation tower on Melbourne Common, overlooking Staunton Harold Reservoir - in fact, the remains of a windmill. It was a tower mill, constructed of brick. The sails were removed about 40 years ago [ie in around the 1920s/30s]. The shell has been restored and is maintained by the River Dove Water Board. (6, 7) Although no windmills are shown at Melbourne on Burdett's map of 1767, Farey records two there in 1808. One still stands as an empty shell on what was known as Charnel Hill, Melbourne Common and which now forms part of a recreation area owned by the Severn Trent Water Board, at Staunton Harold Reservoir. It was built in 1797 at a cost of £100 with a further £159 being spent on it a year later. A survey of Lord Melbourne's estate in 1808 refers to 'the windmill, recently built of brick at Lord Melbourne's expense'. An advertisement for the mill in 1846 stated: "To be let - windmill on Melbourne Common, three pairs of stones and five acres of grassland, apply F F Fox". The mill became disused by about 1880 and stood derelict for many years. A photograph taken about 1905 shows the brick tower, complete with a rounded cap and a large window, but no fantail. Its sails, which reached close to the ground, were seriously damaged. Another photograph taken in 1934 shows that the mill had lost both the cap and its sails by that time. In 1963, when the reservoir was being built, the windmill was converted into an observation tower, with the addition of an open concrete flat roof below which was a gallery. The mill tower has since been included in a visitor centre that opened on June 27 1994, but there is no internal access. (8)

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Index: TPAT. 2449. 2449.
  • <2> Map: OS. 1887. Sheet Derbys LVIII SW/Leics IX SW. 1:10560.
  • <3> Map: OS. 1924. Sheet Derbys LVIII SW/Leics IX SW. 1924. 1:10560.
  • <4> Map: OS. 1970. OS 1:10560.
  • <5> Index: RCHME. 1995. New National Forest Survey: 923001. p1268.
  • <6> Index: Council for British Archaeology (CBA). CBA Industrial Archaeology Report Card. 15/7/1970.
  • <7> Article in serial: Shone, W. 1969. 'The last days of the old mill at Melbourne', Derbyshire Life and Countryside. Vol. 34 (3).
  • <8> Bibliographic reference: Gifford, A. 2003. Derbyshire Windmills Past and Present. pp 30-32, illust..



Grid reference SK 3776 2456 (point) (Centre)

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Record last edited

Jan 31 2011 9:58AM

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