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Monument record MDR9747 - Evans Paper Mill (site of), Darley Lane, Derby

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status/Designation

  • World Heritage Site

Full Description

Shown on late 19th and early 20th century OS maps as 'Paper Mill'. (1-3) Recorded in Turbutt as 'S. Evans & Co., Darley Mills, Paper Manufacturer'. (4) At one time Darley Mills, on the River Derwent, included a corn mill, a paper mill, a fulling mill, a hemp mill and a leather mill ('Post Boy', September 1713). An advertisement in the Derby Mercury of 2nd February 1761 offers the corn mill to let 'with two pairs of French and one pair Grey stones and two Bolting mills'. This predates the Evans's cotton mill of 1783 and the corn mill was possibly removed by the turn of the 18th century, although Sun Fire Policies for 1792 show it was still operating at that time. (5) A paper mill was in existence in 1713, when it was advertised for sale. A further reference appears in an advertisement in 1753 'To let, at the Abbey of Darley, near Derby, one paper mill now in the possession of Mr Robert Bage, together with a good brick house, a garden and other conveniences'. In 1781 Thomas Evans insured the mill, then in the tenure of John Bage, and in 1789 the insurance was in the name of Thomas, William and Walter Evans, papermakers. The Derbyshire Mercury of November 10 1791 reports a fire at Darley paper mill, which was destroyed, including the water-wheel. A new paper mill was built on the site of the old, though much larger, and was ready for production in mid 1793.The premises were described as containing 'three engines, four vats, six wet presses and five dry presses also five rooms for drying and storing Paper, Rags and other Materials for Manufacturing of Paper. Likewise another building contiguous to the said Mill containing eight rooms for drying sizing and finishing of Paper, as also for storing Paper, Rags, Ropes and other Materials used in the Manufacturing of Papers'. These buildings stood until their demolition in 1930. (6) The Derbyshire historian Stephen Glover, writing in c. 1830, believed that the mill complex on the west side of the river had originally been the site of the monastic buildings of Darley Abbey. However, the mill site does not appear large enough to have accommodated the space needed by an important abbey complex. In addition, it is a low-lying area, presumably subject to periodic flooding, and therefore has recently been considered to be an unlikely choice in terms of what is known of monastic planning. (7) An archaeological watching brief was carried out in August 2007 on behalf of Derby City Council by Archaeological Research Services at the site of the Pump House, Darley Abbey, in advance of the conversion of the building and provision of a new access track. No features of potential archaeological interest were located, although a wall was dismantled and rebuilt which appears on the 2nd edition Ordnance Survey map of Darley Abbey, 1889. (8) The wall also appears on the Ordnance Survey 1st edition 6" map, and photographs provided by Authority 6 suggest that it could be 18th century. (9)

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1882. OS County Series, 1st edition, scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile). 1880-1885.
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1896-1900. OS County Series, 2nd edition (1st revision), scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile). 1898-1901.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1912-1921. OS County Series, 3rd edition (Second Revision), scale 1:2500 (25" to one mile).
  • <4> Bibliographic reference: Turbutt, G. 1999. A History of Derbyshire. Vol 4, pg. 1518.
  • <5> Bibliographic reference: Gifford, A. 1999. Derbyshire Watermills: Corn Mills.. B16, p 67.
  • <6> Article in serial: Schmoller, T. 1994. 'Some notes on Derbyshire paper mills, part 2', The Quarterly. Issue no. 10 (March), pp 1-5.
  • <7> Unpublished document: Robinson, D (English Heritage). 2001. Darley Abbey: Notes on the Lost Buildings of an Augustinian Monastery in Derbyshire.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Shakarian, J (ARS). 2007. Darley Abbey Pump House, Derby: Results of an Archaeological Watching Brief.
  • <9> Personal Observation: Brown, J. Observation based on personal experience, map evidence, site visit etc..



Grid reference Centred SK 35331 38397 (124m by 115m)
World Heritage Site Derwent Valley Mills

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • EDR2413

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External Links (0)

Record last edited

Dec 7 2020 11:36AM

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