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Monument record MDR7513 - Red lead mill, lead smelt mill and corn mill, Nether Loads Farm, Holymoorside and Walton

Type and Period (5)

  • (c.1581-1799, Elizabethan to Georgian - 1581 AD to 1799 AD (throughout))
  • ( by 1850, Victorian to Unknown - 1850 AD (pre))
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

Originally a lead smelting mill in the 16th century but was converted into a red lead mill in the 17th century. This, in turn, was converted to a corn mill in the 19th century. To the north-west end of the monument is a now dry pond retained by a small dam. South-east of this is a standing building orientated north-east/south-west measuring 7m x 4m (in use as an agricultural store) which represents the south-west end of the red lead and corn mills. Immediately south of the building is a circular earthwork - the remains of a crushing circle for grinding red lead. The remainder of the field contains slight earthworks, thought to represent the tail-race of the mill, and slag deposits are exposed in the stream bank. Scheduled. (1) Visited in November 2002 as part of the Hunter Archaeological Society SAM Monitoring Scheme. No serious problems noted (2) The Loads Mill lead smelting mill was at Nether Loads, on the Loads brook, where the stream would have powered the bellows for the smelter. The mill is mentioned in the 1840 Tithe award, although the use of the building at that time is not recorded. N 1851 Dan Ripley lived at Nether Loads and was described as a 'corn miller'. It seems probable therefore that the building served both as a corn mill and a smelter at various times during building works associated with a house conversion in 1997 traces of the smelting operations were found. (3) In the 16th century the Heathcote family of Chesterfield were notable lead smelters, using boles north-west of Over Loads. It is assumed that by 1584 George Heathcote would have been using a water-powered smelting-mill, but firm evidence has not been found. George Heathcote II was a lead smelter and lead-merchant on some scale whose estate passed to his son George Heathcote III. An inventory made in March 1637, on the latter's death, shows that a red-lead mill had been built, in addition to the smelting-mill. Grace Heathcote, his widow, retained the Nether Loads mills, as indicated on a map drawn by William Senior between 1637 and 1640 which marks 'Widow Heathcote's smelting mill'. Between 1659 and 1677, when George Heathcote IV died, the smelting-mill had been converted into a second red-lead mill, indicating the profitability of the trade in paint constituents. There is no record of the Heathcote family's involvement in the lead trade after the 1690s. The two red-lead mills survived, however, and were described in proceedings of the Temple Normanton manor court of 1799-1806. By the middle of the 19th century they had been converted to corn milling. A weir at SK 3496938 sent water north-east through a short head-race to a pair of ponds. The first, adjacent to the weir, is filled in and the second, to the east, is dry. Adjacent to the eastern end of the second pond the western bay of a former corn mill survives; indications of the remaining bays can be seen in the surviving fragment of the north wall of the building and as footings in the grass at the eastern end. This mill superseded the smelting-mill. The tail race was culverted and the former exit appears to be marked by a depression at the east end of the field (SK 32646940). Slag can be found in the turf along the top of the stream bank, south-east of the mill. (4)

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1996. Scheduling Notification. 24981. Cat. No.: 373.
  • <2> Personal Observation: Hunter Archaeological Society. 2002. Hunter Archaeological Society SAM Monitoring Scheme. M Lawrie.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Gifford, A. 1999. Derbyshire Watermills: Corn Mills.. C21, p 123.
  • <4> Article in serial: Crossley, D & Kiernan, D. 1992. 'The lead-smelting mills of Derbyshire', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Vol. 112, pp 6-47. Site 3.35, p 32.



Grid reference Centred SK 32574 69400 (165m by 46m)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • EDR1620

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Record last edited

Apr 24 2015 2:45PM

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