Skip to main content

Monument record MDR7749 - Kelstedge Thread Mill, Kelstedge, Ashover

Type and Period (6)

  • (Georgian to Victorian - 1800 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Elizabethan to Georgian - 1600 AD to 1800 AD)
  • (Stuart to Georgian - 1700 AD to 1800 AD)
  • (Elizabethan to Victorian - 1600 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Elizabethan to Victorian - 1600 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Georgian to Victorian - 1800 AD? to 1850 AD?)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

A mill and mill pond are shown on this site on Greenwood's map of 1825, although the mill is not named. (1) Sanderson's map (1835) labels the site 'Bump Mill'. (2) On the 1st ed. 25" OS map, the mill is marked as 'Kelstedge Mill (thread)', with some indication that the mill pond was silting up at its north-west end. (3) The mill is not named on the 2nd ed. 25" map, and had presumably gone out of use by the end of the century. The pond had clearly undergone further silting. (4) In his list of cupolas in 1811, Farey included Kelstedge (two formerly). One of these was Bowers Mill, the other probably belonged to Twigg and Winchester until their partnership went out of business in 1789. It is suggested that it was then occupied by Sykes Milnes and Company until 1810, soon after they took over at Stonedge. The site location (?SK335637) is based on the inclusion of a gritstone lead mould in the stables of Amber House. No other site evidence has been found, and any remains may well be covered by the developments of the 19th century. (5) The site is that of an earlier lead-smelting mill, referred to in 1648 and again in 1693 when an assessment for the use of the poor of Ashover levied a charge on William Hodgkinson of Overton Hall for 'Kelstidge Mills'. Hodgkinson's accounts (1690-1709) include references to lead-smelting at Kelstedge; he appears to have bought the mill outright in 1695, and that he rebuilt the mill in that year is suggested by the existing datestone inscribed 'WEH 1695'. The accounts include important details about merchants for whom lead was smelted, white-coal, 'cookes' for the slag hearth, blackwork from 'old Hillocks' (probably waste from bole-smelting), 'smilting mill stone' and details of consignments of lead to Hull and London. It is probable that one of the cupolas at Kelstedge mentioned by Farey was on or close to the site of the smelting mill. A massive dam supports the drive to Amber House and contains a well-maintained pond. The spillway is at the north-east end and the stream flows over a series of low weirs past the east end of the stone stable-block which, though bearing the date 1695, was radically rebuilt in the 19th century. The present owner has located a culvert which carried water from the dam to a wheel pit beneath the floor of the stables; the pit is known to have been filled in during the 1920s. The alignment of the culverted tail-race has also been established. This water system was used for a 19th century thread mill and is assumed to have originated during the lead smelting phase. Coal-cinder and cupola slag can be found at the foot of the dam and there are scatters of slag in the stream. (6) Earliest reference noted is in a letter dated May 6th, 1794 to Sir Joseph Banks from his agent William Milnes. It appears from subsequent letters that Mr. Bromby, who applied in the oldest letter to make application for the 'Old Smelting Mill' to be converted into a thread mill, was in partnership with a Mr Harvey and a Mr. Colemore of Birmingham and leased the premises for 21 years in 1796. The 1851 census recorded Benjamin Brown as the occupant of 'Kelstedge Mill' (in one of the adjacent cottages revealed by the tithe award), employing 24 girls, 3 boys and 1 man, however the enumerator recorded only 19 Ashover residents as engaged in cotton twisting. The 1871 census recorded Samuel Jennison or Jermison as manager of the cotton mill, with the mill going out of use shortly afterwards, as no thread making is recorded in Ashover in 1881. Purchasing agreements dated in 1876 recorded John Henry Twigg's intention to purchase property including 'Kelstedge Bump Mill', where Twigg was described as a brewer, though there is no record of the mill being turned into a brewery. In 1985 it was recorded that the dam still existed, but there was no sign of the mill. (7)

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Map: Greenwood, C & I. Map of the County of Derby from an Actual Survey made in the Years 1824 & 1825. 1" = 1 mile.
  • <2> Map: Sanderson, G. 1835. Twenty Miles round Mansfield.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1882. OS County Series, 1st edition, scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile). Sheet XXIX.8.
  • <4> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1896-1900. OS County Series, 2nd edition (1st revision), scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile). Sheet XXIX.8, 1898.
  • <5> Article in serial: Willies, L. 1969. 'Cupola lead smelting sites in Derbyshire, 1737-1900', Bulletin of the Peak District Mines Historical Society. Vol. 4, part 1. p 104.
  • <6> Article in serial: Crossley, D & Kiernan, D. 1992. 'The lead-smelting mills of Derbyshire', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Vol. 112, pp 6-47. pp 41-42.
  • <7> Unpublished document: Edwards, D. 2006. Notes on various SMR entries compiled during research for the new Victoria County History.



Grid reference Centred SK 33500 63704 (242m by 292m)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Nov 10 2023 4:12PM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.