? (Georgian to Victorian - 1819 AD to 1900 AD)
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The feeder channel that supplied water from Cromford Mill to the Cromford Canal was built in 1794 at the same time as the canal. 'Part of the agreement under the Canal Act to supply water to the Canal when the Mill was not working, that is on Sundays'. It is thought that the channel extended at one time to a quarry behind the Mill Manager's house. When first constructed, the feeder channel was in a conduit under the mill yard behind the counting house. When the second canal arm was formed in 1824, it connected with it. The channel emerges from a tunnel under Mill Lane from a sluice control mechanism in the Mill Yard, beneath a lintel. (1)
It was a plan proposed by Benjamin Pidcock to exploit the adjacent mineral wealth that gave the canal wharf its final form, with the creation of what became known as the feeder arm. In 1819 Benjamin Pidcock began negotiations with the Canal Company and Peter Arkwright, then in residence at Rock House, to construct a branch from the canal basin to convey stone from his quarry, which was situated behind the mill manager's house on Mill Lane. He was granted permission later that year. Sanderson's map published in 1835 and the Cromford Tithe map of 1841 (4) show the watercourse passing under the drive to Rock House from Mill Lane, the Tithe map designating the are behind the mill manager's house as a quarry. The new cut terminated in what is now the garden of the Mill Manager's house, adjacent to the quarry at a wharf. Oral evidence has confirmed the existence of a wharf now buried deep under the garden. (3)
Part of the waterway survives beside Mill Lane and it is possible that the cast iron stanchions there, some of which have recently been recast, are those which Mr Arkwright approved for the new fence. From 1821 the culvert that carried the agreed water supply from the mill basin to the head of the canal was remodelled to feed more directly under Mill Lane to join Pidcock's cut. This is confirmed by the date 1821 carved in the tone where the culvert joins the cut. The date of the first stone post near this point, now almost obliterated, is also 1821. (3)
Pidcock's arm is narrow and though it widens as it turns at right angles between the entrance to the wharf and the rock, its size and the potential clearance under Rock House drive indicate that conventional canal boats could not have been used. More likely Pidcock used tubs that could be lifted by crane to boats at the canal wharf. Such a system was not unknown on the canal network. (3)
Bibliographic reference: Buxton, D & Charlton C. 2013. Cromford Revisited. pp. 145-6.
Map: 1841. Extract from Cromford Tithe Map. .jpg.
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Centred SK 2990 5697 (119m by 142m)
CROMFORD, DERBYSHIRE DALES, DERBYSHIRE
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Derwent Valley Mills
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Record last edited
Dec 21 2018 9:27AM
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