Belper East Mill is listed Grade II. It is similar to the later iron-framed mills of Lancashire and a good example of the type. It is a seven storey building constructed from red brick with stone dressings in a rectangular plan with a rear eastern wing, a single storey section across part of the western façade, and corner towers. The south-western tower is larger with a stone belevedere and name and date on the front. All the towers have stone balustraded parapets. The mill was built over earlier water channels to wheels. The rear elevation to the River Gardens and Matlock Road has small semi-circular balconies linking the corner towers with the main body of the mill on several floors. The East Mill is a prominent land-mark in many near and distant views of the town. (1)
The mill chimney at Belper East Mill was also listed Grade II. It was a tapering polygonal red brick chimney with panelled yellow brickwork between the two top cornices with a moulded cornice above. It was a prominent feature of the townscape. [but has since been demolished in 1990 subsequent to the original listing and only the base remains]. (2)
The mill chimney at Belper East Mill predates the mill itself and was constructed in 1854. It was demolished in 1990, after consolidation works failed to stabilise the structure. (3)
The Belper East Mill completely overshadows the North Mill. It is a fortress-like, seven-storey building with four corner turrets, Italianate tower and rows of windows, it was constructed by the English Sewing Cotton Company in 1912 in the distinctive Accrington red-brick, which had by this time become the preferred building material for textile mills - whether built in Lancashire or elsewhere. It is built around a steel frame, which by 1912 had long been entirely free standing; unlike William Strutt's structures, which relied on the walls of the building to support them. Nevertheless, its debt to the earlier innovations of Strutt and Bage is palpable. (5)
The architect for East Mill was Sidney Stott of Oldham, one of the leading Lancashire architectural practices who specialised in textile mill design. The mill is constructed of red Accrington brick, with window sills of stone. Several features are unusual for Stott, including the water tower and the top floor windows. The water tower carries the lettering 'ESCCo East Mill 1912'. The mill was built for doubling, not spinning, and was designed to fit onto a restricted site. It is 9 bays long by 5 bays wide. Internally the mill is of brick-arch construction. Cast iron columns support main rolled steel girders running in both directions. The mill was evidently electrically driven by individual electric motors. The engine house contained a steam turbine electricity generating plant. While the East Mill is in many ways typical of Lancashire mill construction of its date, its use for doubling and its electrical drive makes it atypical, as is its fire-proof north light roof. (6)
Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England. List entry number 1336982.
Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England. List entry number 1335664.
Verbal communication: Farmer, A. Information derived from site visit, personal research, etc..
Index: Council for British Archaeology (CBA). CBA Industrial Archaeology Report Card. East Mill, Belper.
Unpublished document: Derwent Valley Mills (DVM) Nomination Steering Panel. 2000. Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage List Nomination Document.
Unpublished document: Holden, R N. 2007. Notes on a visit to East Mill, Belper, Tuesday 17 July 2007.
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