Updated 26 Sep 2007

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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Photo 536


Taken c1910. The Mill Dam and sluice gate, with the Bottom Mill in the background

Bottom Mill, taken about 1985 while being renovated. Credit: Frank Hackett.

Mill Dam, Tansley

Tansley originally had two Mills (Top and Bottom Mill) and five dams supplying water to power two gigantic water wheels, one in each Mill.

Read more about the Mills and the family that ran them in the website by Frank Hackett: A Hackett Family History or "The Story of a Derbyshire Mill-owning Family"

Keith Taylor writes:
Tansley was involved at an early stage in the Industrial revolution, with the building of two Mills, both operated by power provided by means of water wheels. The main concern of the Tansley mills was the production of fabrics using silk, cotton thread and yarn.

The main source of power for the two mills came from water, of which there was a plentiful and fairly constant supply in the grit stone hills and from springs. Streams flowed down the valley and several walls were built to make dams.

Altogether, five dams were constructed and the flow from these dams was controlled by sluice gates, some of which are still present today. The mills were built below these dams to ensure a constant supply of running water for the water wheels.

The Top and Lower Mills in Tansley were built along the Coach Road in about 1782 by Samuel Unwin. In the 1861 census, the then owner, Thomas Hackett (see 1851, 1861 and 1871), employed 210 hands. They later came to be owned by Robert Lowe (see 1881, 1891 and 1901) and J H Scholes (see 1891 and 1901), manufacturing tapes and shawls.
"Tansley Remembered", ISBN 1901214435, page 57

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