History of the Village of Stoney Middleton

By Thomas E. Cowen (1910)

Transcriptions by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2003

History of the Village of Stoney MiddletonINDUSTRIES

INDUSTRIES.

There is every evidence that the LEAD MINES were worked at the time the Romans had their station at Brough, and possibly the prisoners of war were obliged to work in the penal settlements. Roman coins, chiefly copper, but some with a thin silvery coating, were found as late as the summer of 1814, near where the road branches out of Middleton Dale. The coins bear the inscription of the Emperors Probus, Gallienus, etc., and of Victorinus (a successful usurper of imperial power). The chief lead mines are the Deep Rake, Salad Hole, Little Pastures, Blagden, Gin, White Coe, and Wren Park. The Great Barmote Court is still held alternately at the Moon Inn, Stoney Middleton, and Bull's Head, Eyam. One Cupola or smelting house is still standing near the Ball Inn, and a huge heap of slag serves to “adorn the tale”.

One of the PAINT MILLS is still to be seen in Middleton Dale, where the Cawk is washed, the lead sorted out and ground. The residue is then bleached by Vitrol, and Barytes prepared for the adulteration of paint. For many years the staple industry was QUARRYING, and the workman would sometimes come across a vein of lead that would be worth following. TALLOW CANDLE MAKING was also a busy trade, especially in the busy days of lead-mining. The Tallow Press used by Chandler Goddard, of the Bank, may still be

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seen at the Smithy. Thomas Furness was also a Chandler in 1857.

WEAVING LOOMS were once to be found in the cottages, and it would appear to have been a flourishing trade once. A cottage opposite Vicarage Lane has a large number of windows at the rear, and this was at one time a weaving shed.

THE CORN MILL has been utilized at various times by the families of Hinch and Booth. 'Miller Carter' is no longer employed at the Mill, and the great wheel and shuttle have long since passed into disuse. If some enterprising gentleman could be found with sufficient capital, the power otherwise running to waste at the Waterfall could be used for lighting the whole village with electric light.

Large quantities of grain were stored in sacks in the low rooms of the Malthouse on the Bank, and a Malting Tub once stood in the building. It is thought by some that the Smithy was formerly a Malthouse.

The old stable at the bottom of the Bank was once the workshop Benjamin Cooper - a Cooper by name and trade or tub-thumper. The wood was stored by the side of the Brook, and placed in a boiler when making hoops for Dolly Tubs, Churns, Buckets, etc.

BESOM MAKING was another pursuit. These were made in one part of the Smithy, now occupied by Mr. Charles Furness as a cottage. Mr, William Jupp also made besoms in the building now used by Messrs. F. and A. Cocker's as a store-room.

Besoms were also made in the chamber over the Smithy by Messrs. Daniel Jackson and Johnson, and the enclosed ground is still designated “the Besom Shop Yard”.

The principal industry at the present time is the BOOT AND SHOE trade. The first factory was opened over 60 years ago by Mr. Thomas Ashton on the site of Mr. H. Heginbotham's shop. Afterwards Messrs. Benjamin Hallam and Archelaus Hancock went into the business, and for some time were very successful. The firm Heginbotham Bros. were the first to utilise power to work the machinery. Competition is now so keen that this industry is not so good as formerly.

Besides the SMITHY, is the Dale occupied by the veteran Blacksmith, William Barnes (83 years of age), who early in

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the fifties succeeded to the business of John Froggatt. There was once a Blacksmith's shop near the Toll Bar House occupied by George Marsden. Another Smithy stood in part of the cottage now occupied by Mr. Charles Furness. One hot May day the blacksmith, Benjamin Widdowson, was hooping by a heath fire, when a spark fired the thatched roof of John Wood's house opposite and destroyed it. Another house was afterwards found for them by Lord Denman.

A SADDLER'S Shop was formerly kept by Isaac Marples opposite Verandah Cottage.

Stoney Middleton is not so prosperous a village as it was in the palmy days of the mining, lead smelting, weaving, and lime burning industries, when it is often asserted there were about a thousand inhabitants in Stoney Middleton and the Bank.

End of Chapter XXIII: => WALKS AROUND MIDDLETON

OCR/transcript by Rosemary Lockie in February 2003.

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