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Building record MDR8811 - Litton Mill, Slack Side, Litton

Type and Period (3)

  • (Former Type) (Georgian to Victorian - 1782 AD to 1870 AD)
  • (Former Type) (Tudor to Georgian - 1540 AD to 1782 AD)
  • (Late 20th Century to 21st Century - 1987 AD to 2050 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

Litton Mill originally operated as a water-powered, cotton spinning mill; built in 1782 by Ellis Needham. A fire in 1870 destroyed most of the original buildings, but one two-storey stone workshop with a long top floor window survives, as does part of a warehouse and a building mounted on stone pillars, which was probably a coach house. An undershot water wheel of uncertain age also survives. The head race runs directly off the River Wye, so there is no associated mill pond. A chimney and flue associated with the mill [SMR 9422]. The underground flue runs down the daleside to the mill site. The chimney stands c. 6m high and is built of limestone with a gritstone string-course and coping. It is circular in plan. It is the only known example in the Peak District of a flue and chimney in good condition. (1-4). The original mill was started by Needdham, Frith and co about 1782 and made notorious by the Robert Blincoe storey of the ill-treated London orphan apprentice, 1810-2-. Few traces remain of the original buildings. The iron-capped gateposts to the now vanished bridge over the stream to the site of the Apprentice House still stand, as do the waterwheel sluices controls. The present mill was built 1874 after a fire. (5) The gashouse was probably built between 1820 and 1840 and it produced gas to light both the mill and the village. The building is two storeys and built of coursed limestone blocks. To the north is a chimney [SMR 9422] and to the north-east of this is a ruined building. In 2002, the gashouse and related features were in a ruinous state. More recently the building has been repaired and the original design has been changed. A corn mill is marked at the approximate site of Litton Mill on Senior's map from 1611. Ellis Needham and partners founded Litton mill in 1784 on the site of the old corn mill. (6) In 1987, the mill was closed. The buildings have now been converted into apartments. (7) In the early 19th century the mill was notable for employing poor orphans. Under the management of Henry Newton in the 1850s it had a workforce of around400. Now 'Litton Holiday Care Centre' (1997) but semi-derelict. (8)

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Harris, H. 1971. Industrial Archaeology of the Peak District. p 110.
  • <2> Article in serial: Mackenzie, M. 1968. 'Cressbrook and Litton Mills, 1779-1835', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Vol. 88. pp 1-25.
  • <3> Article in serial: Chapman, S. 1969. 'Cressbrook and Litton Mills, an alternative view', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Vol. 89. pp 86-91.
  • <4> Article in serial: Mackenzie, M. 1970. 'Cressbrook and Litton Mills: a reply', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Vol. 90. pp 56-60.
  • <5> Bibliographic reference: Harris, H. 1971. Industrial Archaeology of the Peak District. p 265.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Ullathorne, A (PDNPA). 2003. Litton Mill, Litton, Derbyshire, archaeological field survey, upland option, 2003. No. 1, pp 2-3.
  • <7> Unpublished document: Fletcher, M. 2002. Litton Mill, Miller's Dale, Derbyshire: Archaeological Assessment..
  • <8> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D (ed.). 1997. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology. A Gazetteer of Sites. Part IV. Derbyshire Dales.



Grid reference Centred SK 16092 73022 (197m by 152m) (Approximate)

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Record last edited

Jul 9 2015 10:09AM

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