On the Hilton Brook, a tributary of the River Dove, stands a sound red brick Victorian three storey mill built about 1870, complete with a slate roof and a large lucam. There had been an earlier mill at Hilton. The Domesday survey valued a mill at 10s and a mill is marked at approximately this site in Burdett's survey of 1767. In 1720 the miller at Hilton, Robert Bowler, was in Derby jail for debt. Joseph Hudson was in charge in 1857, T C Greensmith ran the mill between 1881 and the 1920s when Edmund Tunniclife became the miller until 1932. Nixon reported that it was derelict in 1969 but does not record when it closed. There have been two undershot waterwheels in the present mill, the one in the centre of the building was approximately 20ft in diameter and 6ft wide, the other, inside at the east end, was smaller, about 15ft in diameter by 5ft wide. Both wheels have now been removed but wheel marks can still be seen. Some machinery remained inside in 1991 (there had been five pairs of stones), a hurst frame and a single bridgetree were observed through a dirty window! During its final years the mill operated as a provender mill famous for its 'Derby Dog Biscuits'. The mill was converted into a house in 1997. (1)
The 2nd edition OS map of 1901 shows a large mill pond with overflow to the north of the mill and a tail race rejoining the brook at a little distance to the south. (2)
Like most watermill sites, this is probably ancient but the buildings are not. Hilton Mill is a tall brick building in two parts, the eastern end having two storeys and the western three, both with attics. The two-storey building was constructed in the first half of the 19th century, the three-storey in the later 19th century. 19th century pictures show a lower building attached to the east of the eastern end of the mill, a domestic building where the present three-storey building stands, and other ancillary buildings. The mill pond lay on the north side of the mill but has now been filled in. The archives at Chatsworth contain a lot of information about the owners and tenants of the mill; the Derby Buildings Record report includes a summary compiled by Mr James Darwin of RCHME. (3)
Bibliographic reference: Gifford, A. 1999. Derbyshire Watermills: Corn Mills.. B29, plate 30, p 79.
Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1896-1900. OS County Series, 2nd edition (1st revision), scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile). Sheet LIII.12, 1901.
Unpublished document: Hutton, B. Derby Buildings Record. DBR 91, 10th September 1991.
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Centred SK 24252 30463 (186m by 341m) (Approximate)
HILTON, SOUTH DERBYSHIRE, DERBYSHIRE
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Record last edited
Feb 27 2017 12:19PM
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