Welcome to the web site of Mellor Archaeological Trust
Revealing Oldknow’s Legacy
Revealing Oldknow's Legacy: Community Dig at Oldknow's Mansion Held on 18th - 22nd & 25th to 29th April 2016 A success with so much progress on revealing Oldknow's Mansion (Melllor Lodge). A chance in...
Revealing Oldknow’s Legacy
Our heritage project is all about telling the story of Samuel Oldknow and his historic connection with Marple Aqueduct, Marple Lime Kilns and Mellor Mill Site to engage new and existing audiences in...
Grand Re-Opening Wellington Wheel Pit, March 2012
In 1794 the Mellor Mill, Bottoms Mill was opened, six stories, 400feet long, and 33 feet wide the mill was powered by the Wellington Wheel. A breast water wheel 22 feet diameter, 18 feet wide. Power was transferred, from the edge of the wheel to the rest of the mill by vertical shafts. By 1804, 10,080 spindles were operating and up to 550 workers (mainly women and children) were employed. However less than fifteen years later the need arose for a second wheel, and the Waterloo Wheel, was constructed. And in 1860 investement was made in the new form of power, steam, the steam and boiler house.
The following video covers the re-opening of the Wellington Wheel Pit to the public in March 2012, the wheel itself long gone. (Chris Mann, of Manmade productions, produced the video)
The Mellor Mill site was moribund for the next near century and a quarter, following the disastrous fire of 1892. The brickwork broke down into clay, leaf mould into soil, and trees grew, and grew as this time passed until the Mellor Archaeological Trust came along, with the novel idea of emptying the Wellington Wheel Pit. This endeavour was helped by a £15,000 grant from The Association of Industrial Archaeology, together with £5,000 from the Trust. Plans were to open up the Pit, put up interpretation boards, and open the whole area to the public; this was achieved and celebrated in a grand opening in March 2012. Excavation of the pit had started in June 2011, initially with a 22 ton digger, then in tandem with Bob’s own 1 ½ ton digger in the pit itself, lowered by its bigger brother. Work has continued, almost every week-end and some week days. Volunteers have uncovered the cobbled area in front of the mill, the 20 metre tunnel that took the drive shaft away from the Wellington Wheel, as well as stable for visitor’s horses, under the front projection.
About the Trust
The Trust was formed in 2000 following the discovery in 1998 of an Iron Age ditch in the garden of The Old Vicarage next to Mellor Church. Excavations continued to 2009 and have been described as the largest excavation for a generation of a hillfort in North West England "with results as important as those at Beeston Castle". There have been finds from Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Romano-British and Medieval times. In 2007, the Trust extended its activities to cover the whole history of the whole Parish of Mellor. Digs, which are continuing annually, at the Bronze Age burial site of Shaw Cairn on Mellor Moor included finding of nearly 100 beads of an amber necklace in 2008/9. Current work is focused on Mellor Mill, the largest and most impressive cotton mill in the world when it was built in 1790-92. It was burnt out in 1892. The area became woodland, which is now being converted into a small country park showing the remains of the mill and other buildings.
Enjoy reading about the archaeology, history and buildings of Mellor and find out about volunteering, events, publications and other activities.
Mellor Mill painting by Joseph Parry now displayed in Marple Library
THE PAINTING HAS BEEN HUNG IN MARPLE LIBRARY FOR THE COMMUNITY TO SHARE
Where is Mellor?
Now on the edge of Stockport in Greater Manchester, Mellor's location is historically important.
On the south-west and north-west, it is bordered by the two great rivers, Goyt and Etherow, which drain the SW Peak District and join to form the Mersey at the lowest point of Mellor.
On the east, a high ridge overlooks a valley, behind which is Kinder Scout. Three spurs, separated by brooks, project west from the ridge.