Sheaf Mill 01 – Upper Smelting Mills

Redcar Brook

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The possible location of one of the Upper Smelting Mills.
Mill Co-ordinates: 53.328252°,-1.551926°

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The position of the Upper Smelting mills, on the Redcar Brook,  is not precisely known. An 1835 map (Sanderson’s “Twenty miles round Mansfield”) shows  a possible site north of a bridge (on Whitelow Lane) across the stream and it is reported that cupola slag has been found near to the stream here.

Upper Smelting Mill is recorded in John Ward’s will in 1617, when it was passed on to his son (also John) who leased it to Richard Shemeld in 1627. Shemeld bought the mill in 1631 after the death of John Ward.

Robert Clay, a lead merchant, bought the site from the Shemeld family in 1714. The site was still owned by members of the Clay family when they were also operating a lead cupola at the site of Totley Rolling Mill in 1759.

“Old Cupola” ruins are shown on an 1811 Dore survey map.

There is evidence of a second lead smelting mill close to, but separate from, the Upper Smelting Mill on the Redcar Brook. This site – Cliff Mill – was owned by Pegge and operated by John Rotheram but possibly only for a short time around 1671 to 1674.