Bob's Mellor Mill Diary
Bob (Robert Humphrey-Taylor) is leading the excavations at Mellor Mill.
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A great, if a bit chilly, weekend at the mill. We have been continuing to uncover a wall of the Mechanic's Shop and in the course of doing that out came a piece of 'slag' with a 1921 penny embedded in it. The workshops down by the river continued to be used for their original purposes after the disastrous fire at the mill in 1892. As late as the 1920's two hearths remained in the blacksmith's shop, and one of these was a small nail-makers hearth with the anvil and suspended swinging seat. There was also an engineers' workshop, and Oldknow’s papers in the John Rylands Library, Manchester, mention a cutting engine and fluting engine in the Engine Room, and a lathe in the Turning Room, although it is not certain if this refers to Mellor Mill or Stockport Mill.
We are now working very hard to meet our deadlines for a part two submission to HLF by May for the major funding of £1.3M.
On Sunday Chris Walters, our Webmaster, came on site for a long promised update. We made a complete tour of the site. Chris was pleasantly surprised at the work which has gone on in recent months.
Bob apologizes for having got his finger in the way of the shot!
Why not come down and see some of the amazing progress which has been made recently and get yourself updated on the amazing story of Mellor Mill and how it transformed the tiny hamlet of Marple into a 'hive of industry' and eventually created the town we know and love today.
Wellington Tail Race - necessary measure
This is what we have had to do to prevent people entering the,very dangerous,tail race tunnel from the Wellington Wheel Pit.
Do come down soon and see all the progress we have made exposing the foundations of the ancillary buildings down by the riverside.
The Back Wall of the Mill Identified!
22nd February: A very good day today with the digger and dumper. We have identified the back wall of the mill (see pictures below) and found a wall of the saw pit/woodworking shop.
Two images of the back wall; the first taken on 22 February and the better one on the right taken 23 February.
24th February: I have erected the red and white tape line on the head race to indicate the outside of the mill rear wall. So the outside depth of the mill is now established as being around 35 feet:
A disappointment at the Mellor Mill Site
We recently had a Structural Engineer look at some of our tunnels as part of the Mellor Mill Survey which I am conducting as part of our submission for stage two funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Sadly the tailrace tunnel from the Wellington wheel pit to the Waterloo wheel pit is in a dangerous condition. It is so bad that we will not, for safety reasons, be able to excavate it. We, Mellor Archaeological Trust, decided we had to gate off this tunnel as a matter of urgency since leaving it open is tantamount to allowing people to investigate it with all the risks that would involve. We had hoped to clear this tunnel out and invite visitors to walk through but sadly this will not be possible. However, the tunnel which brought power into the mill via a drive shaft, from the Waterloo Wheel, is in excellent condition and there is every reason to believe this will be a viable route for visitors to use as they progress around the site from the mill to the ancillary buildings down by the River Goyt.
I'll be down there this weekend if you feel like joining us, or just visiting, now that the weather has improved.
An Excellent Day today
I had an excellent day today (Monday 28 January) down at the mill. My one free day this week and I landed on Wright Hire's doorstep at 7.30 am to see if they had a digger I could hire. They had and I have spent the day clearing areas for the site survey. The great success is finally discovering the walls of the Stable/Coach house. Culwicks men came down to make their profiles for the gratings to protect the Wellington tailrace. I have also had an email from SMBC to say one of their engineers will contact me in the next 24 hrs to arrange a visit to look at the weakened tunnel structures.