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Stott Park bobbin mill, two mill ponds and site of Stott Park smithy

A Scheduled Monument in Colton, Cumbria

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.2856 / 54°17'8"N

Longitude: -2.9661 / 2°57'58"W

OS Eastings: 337201.569437

OS Northings: 488199.867167

OS Grid: SD372881

Mapcode National: GBR 7LQW.MH

Mapcode Global: WH82Z.DJSZ

Entry Name: Stott Park bobbin mill, two mill ponds and site of Stott Park smithy

Scheduled Date: 5 February 1973

Last Amended: 13 November 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014936

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27708

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Colton

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Finsthwaite St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle

Details

The monument includes Stott Park bobbin mill, two mill ponds, and the site of
the now demolished Stott Park smithy. It is located on the western side of
Windermere some 800m south of the village of Finsthwaite and is divided into
two separate areas. The larger area contains the bobbin mill, its associated
buildings, a mill pond, an outlet stream and the site of Stott Park smithy,
while the smaller area contains a mill pond and outlet stream. The bobbin mill
comprises a core complex of mainly stone buildings grouped around a courtyard.
These include lathe shops, an engine house, a boiler room and chimney, a
blacksmith's shop, a circular saw shed, two coppice sheds and a wheelpit. At
the rear of this group of buildings there are two drying sheds; one
constructed of corrugated metal sheeting, the other of timber and corrugated
metal sheeting.
The main building is of two storeys and contains a variety of machinery. The
ground floor is divided into four rooms; one room contains a blocking saw, saw
bench and electric drive motor; another room contains lathes, borers, a
grinder, and an electric drive motor; a further room contains a static steam
engine; and a further room contains the original Lancashire boiler. The upper
storey is divided into two rooms; the toolroom contains grindstones and a
feathering cutter, and the old lathe room contains polishing barrels, a boring
spindle and a lathe. The water pit at the rear of the buildings contains a
water turbine.
The mill was originally powered by a waterwheel fed from a mill pond to the
south which in turn was fed by water originating in High Dam c.1km to the
north west and piped from the dam's outflow stream. A leat runs from the mill
pond downhill before now being conveyed to the mill through a pipe. To the
west of the buildings there is an overflow pond which originally may have
provided water power for Stott Park smithy, the location of which is known
from a plan of the site. The remains of the smithy are fragmentary and consist
of a short length of walling now forming part of the northern coppice shed,
and traces of a wall foundation running to the outflow stream at the rear of
the mill. This outflow stream is channeled by stone retaining walls as far as
the roadbridge downstream of the mill.
Stott Park bobbin mill was built in 1835 by John Harrison and originally
consisted of a single lathe shop. It was founded on the need for bobbins and
reels for the textile trades of Lancashire, but also produced a large variety
of other goods including pick, hammer, axe and mallet shafts, file handles,
bill-hook handles, spade crowns, milk-can handles, toggles, and latterly spout
bobbins and wire bobbins. Locally coppiced wood such as birch, ash and
sycamore was generally used but occasionally specific woods such as imported
hickory was brought in for use in the manufacture of certain products. The
mill was powered by a waterwheel 9.8m in diameter which directly drove the
line-shafting within the building. The individual machines were driven by
means of belting which connected the pulleys on the machines to those on the
shaft. It is not known how long the waterwheel was in operation but it is
thought that the first turbine was installed at the mill before 1858. About
1880 a 20 hp single-cylinder steam engine was introduced to the mill and a
second lathe shop built by the then owners Newby Wilson. However, it was found
to consume too much fuel, thus a second turbine was installed about 1890. This
was located in the wheelpit and could not be overhauled with ease, with the
result that a third turbine was brought into use in 1931 and worked in tandem
with the steam engine. The steam engine was superseded by two electric motors
in 1941 and these worked until the closing of the mill in 1971. The turbine
was generally used to drive the saw shop and the old mill, while the steam
engine and latterly the electric motors, were used to drive the main mill.
Although the early waterwheel was superseded and eventually removed, the same
line-shafting continued to turn the machinery until the mill ceased
production.
In 1983 the mill was reopened as an industrial monument. The buildings and the
surrounding land enclosed within a triangle of roads are in the care of the
Secretary of State.
All benches, information posts, post and wire fences, and the surface of all
paths are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath all these
features is included.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Bobbin mills were constructed during the 19th century originally in response
to the demand for wooden bobbins and reels for the growing cotton trade
predominantly based in Lancashire. Many of these mills were founded in the
valleys of south Lakeland where raw materials for the production of bobbins -
water to power the machinery and wood for coppicing - were available in
profusion. Such was the demand that corn mills and even iron furnaces were
converted to bobbin manufacture and at the height of production in the late
19th century there were over 60 mills in operation in Cumberland, Westmorland
and north Lancashire. The mills were originally water powered but steam
engines, turbines, and latterly electric motors became the chief sources of
power to drive the machines which sawed, bored, dried, sculptured and polished
the bobbins and the variety of other wooden objects such as handles, shafts,
rollers, pulleys, poles and dowels which were also manufactured. The main
components of a bobbin mill comprised at least one or more mill ponds from
which water was channeled to power the waterwheel, a wheelpit, coppice barns
where the wood was stored and dried prior to use, sawing sheds where cutting
the wood into manageable lengths was undertaken, drying rooms and sheds, lathe
sheds where the wood was turned, engine rooms, a blacksmith's room where tools
and machinery could be manufactured and repaired, and storage sheds where the
finished product would be kept until transportation. Since the mid-20th
century the virtual disappearance of the Lancashire textile industry and the
use of cheaper plastic in place of wood has reduced the demand to the extent
that virtually all the bobbin mills have now closed.
Stott Park bobbin mill is the best surviving example of the bobbin
manufacturing industry in the country. It is operated as a working museum and
contains original machinery, engines, turbines and a boiler. The mill's water
management system survives well and the monument also contains fragmentary
traces of Stott Park smithy.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
English Heritage, , Stott Park Bobbin Mill, (1990)
Marshall, J D, Davies Shiel, M, The Industrial Archaeology of the Lake Counties, (1977), 69
Marshall, J D, Davies Shiel, M, The Industrial Archaeology of the Lake Counties, (1977), 66-75
Marshall, J D, Davies Shiel, M, The Industrial Archaeology of the Lake Counties, (1977), 69
Other
To Robinson,K.D. (MPPA), Nield, M (Mill manager), (1995)
To Robinson,K.D. (MPPA), Nield, M (Mill manager), (1995)
To Robinson,K.D. (MPPA), Nield, M (Mill manager), (1995)

Source: Historic England

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