Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 162,868 pages of information and 245,381 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Lumford Mill, Bakewell

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Photo on display at Bakewell Old House Museum, showing the mill when it was occupied by the D. P. Battery Co. At the bottom RH corner may be seen the water course leading to the two waterwheels
Fragments of the waterwheel from Lumford Mill have been set up at Bakewell Old House Museum to give an impression of its size

in Bakewell, Derbyshire

1777 This was Richard Arkwright's third spinning mill, nearly as big as his two Cromford mills put together; it was powered by the river Wye.

He stationed his son, Richard Arkwright junior (1755-1843), at Bakewell to learn the trade and to plan many other mills from Bakewell to Manchester.

Richard junior married and raised eight children in a purpose built house which still stands, near the packhorse bridge to the north of Bakewell.

1792 Richard senior died and son Richard junior moved to Willersley Castle at Cromford.

Richard junior’s son, Robert (1783-1859), later took over the Bakewell property. At that time the mill was powered by an undershot wooden wheel mounted axially within the Lumford mill.

1827 Robert had the wooden wheel replaced with the latest technology - a 25ft wide, 18ft long iron wheel made by the inventor of such wheels Thomas Hewes.

1829 The mill was sold to Horace Mason, who became insolvent in 1839, when the mill returned to the Arkwright family.

1840 Advertisement: 'Valuable FREEHOLD and LEASEHOLD LAND and PROPERTY, situate at Bakewell and Lumford adjoining, consisting of the excellent and spacious COTTON WORKS And Appurtenances, lately worked by HORACE MASON, Esq. comprizing a large Cotton Mill, built of Stone, heated by Steam, capable of containing with ease 13,000 spindles, and filled with Machinery (the principal part of which is on the most modern construction) and driven by an excellently constructed iron wheel, by Hewes and Wren, 25 feet diameter, 18 feet wide, 15 inches deep on the sole, with 12 inch inverted gear, and on which the water is always laid at that desideratum of the Practical millwright - half-past ten. This Wheel has been recently, put down at the cost of nearly £2,000, is equal to 12,000 spindles, and is estimated at nearly 100-HORSE POWER. The wheel, primary motions and shuttle apparatus are admirably arranged and supplied by vast reservoirs, covering nearly 24 Acres, through which the beautiful River Wye, a stream principally supplied by springs and never flooded so as to retard the wheel, is entirely turned. The whole of the Property, except these reservoirs, is Freehold, and these are held under a Lease from His Grace the Duke of Devonshire, ending in 1895, at £44. per Annum….'[1]

1868 The mill burnt down, although the Hewes wheel survived

Arkwright’s five storey mill was replaced with a single story industrial estate.

In the late 1800s, a director of an electrical battery company was holidaying in the Peak District and saw that the site was for sale. He realised the potential of the wheel to generate electricity and in 1898 moved his company, the D. P. Battery Co., to Bakewell.

1898 The Dujardin-Plante Battery Company (D. P. Battery Co) occupied the mill until 1970. Significant parts of the mill survive at what is now the Riverside Business Park. [2]


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Derby Mercury, 8th January 1840
  2. [1] Derbyshire Mills Archive webpage, Derbyshire Heritage website
  • [2] Nedias Newsletter #42