Bob's Mellor Mill Diary
Bob (Robert Humphrey-Taylor) is leading the excavations at Mellor Mill.
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John Riley e-mailed: Bon jour - I met Kevin Swindells yesterday - in the last 3 weeks he has excavated the garden House [on Oldknow's market garden, further up Lakes Road from the bridge] - it is brilliant - the cellars are intact as is the ground floor up to window cill and the 2 stone stairs up to half landing. Hope you're having a good time.
That is fantastic. I saw that there was some work going on down there but couldn't quite make out what. I didn't realise that you are in contact with Kevin Swindells. Will he allow us to record and document the remains? Do keep us informed.
[Early in September, we heard that the joint bid to HLF by Mellor Archaeological Trust and the Canal and River Trust, "Revealing Oldknow's Legacy: Mellor Mill and the Peak Forest Canal in Marple", had been successful at Stage 1. Development of the full application will go on until May 2013.]
From John Riley to Ann Hearle: Thanks for the postcard image – attached is a recent photograph of what is left of the chimney. My deceased father, who lived in Stone Row from birth until just before its demolition – told me that as a small child he used to scramble up the inclined flue to the top of the hill – for fun !
The chimney visible over the trees.
From Ann to John: Many thanks for the photo. Do you know when the chimney came down?
From John: My father was born in 1919 so if he was crawling through and out at the top of the flue it would suggest that the chimney was down by the mid 1920's at the latest. Given the dimensions of the flue he and his siblings must have been quire earless(stupid ?) to crawl up its length - as if that wasn't dangerous enough he actually broke an arm falling from one of the circular hollows on the canal aqueduct.
Bob comments: So now I know where you get your adventurous spirit from, John!!
John Riley had commented: Thanks for the image - I 've seen it before but not at such a good resolution- which newspaper is it from ? It's interesting to note that there is a chimney stack asymmetrically located at the junction of the central bay and linear factory block (A) - evidenced on both photographs - also a door way below the steps to the side bays (B) - I am unsure whether there was also a single stack serving the offices or whether feature C was architectural decoration to the central bay parapet.
What does your red dotted line on the second picture indicate?
The chimneys make sense since there would at least need to be flue for the water wheel basement (viewing platform) fire and I can't imagine the central offices would be without some heat. I had noticed what seems to be a doorway under the steps up to the right promontory. We are currently working on the cellar area below that which is the mill end of the tunnel bringing the auxiliary power from the Waterloo wheel. At the moment there is no evidence of a ground level floor in that promontory and it maybe that the door under the stairs led onto a flight down into the cellar/ shaft service areas.
Time for you to pop down and have another look!
Note the Waterloo wheel house and the tunnel to carry the drive shaft into the mill. The tunnel lines up nicely with the right hand promontory of the mill building.
What appears to be a copper button (or part of a button) found yesterday between the cobbles in the day stable whilst excavating the second slurry drain.