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Dam and millpond 150m east of Cheersgreen Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Peover Superior, Cheshire East

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.2591 / 53°15'32"N

Longitude: -2.3713 / 2°22'16"W

OS Eastings: 375327.298468

OS Northings: 373633.745923

OS Grid: SJ753736

Mapcode National: GBR CZWR.FD

Mapcode Global: WH99F.KB1T

Entry Name: Dam and millpond 150m east of Cheersgreen Farm

Scheduled Date: 10 June 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018081

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30376

County: Cheshire East

Civil Parish: Peover Superior

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Church of England Parish: Over Peover St Lawrence

Church of England Diocese: Chester

Details

The monument includes a dam and millpond situated in the garden of Holly Tree
Cottage. A leat, which is now dry, leads from the south western end of the dam
and runs towards Cheersgreen Farm. The associated mill cannot now be traced.
The dam is an earthwork bank, 52m long and 5m wide at the base. It stands 3m
high on average and 4.5m high at the centre. The middle of the dam has been
breached and a modern sluice inserted in the gap which is 8m wide. The dam
has formed a pond, originally about 50m wide and now 30m wide at the dam. The
pond is about 80m long. Soil at the edge of this pond is black and clearly
represents the bed of the original millpool. This black soil is at least 0.5m
deep beside the pool. The leat is a ditch, about 5m wide, leading from the
south western end of the dam and running south west for 50m before turning
west and running for 100m. The ditch then runs northwards for 55m down a slope
and into the brook. At this point it is 10m wide. This is the tailrace for the
mill allowing the water to flow away back to the brook behind the mill.
In 1977 the organic deposits behind the dam were analysed and a date around
1430 was proposed for the dam and pool. This analysis also showed that the
pool was abandoned in around 1750 and was dry until it was reinstated in 1977.
The concrete abutments for the new sluice gate, the gate itself and the post
and wire fences on the top of the dam are excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Watermills were in use in the British Isles from the 6th century until recent
times. The mill was driven by a flow of water propelling a wheel with paddles
or troughs and the rotation of this wheel was transferred to the machinery.
The flow of water was maintained by a dam and the head of water trapped behind
it. The amount of water was controlled by a sluice gate feeding into a canal
known as a leat. Watermills replaced the hand mills in use in all earlier
homes and soon developed into a very profitable source of income for the
owners. This income was controlled by the lords of the manors in the medieval
period and therefore mills are recorded as an essential part of the manorial
holdings. The presence of a watermill in a medieval context is an important
indicator of the status of the surrounding estate.
The dam and millpond at Hollytree Cottage are well preserved as part of a
garden enclosure. Restoration of the sluice and a body of water will have
preserved the previously waterlogged silts and organic remains in the bottom
of the original millpond. In spite of the lowering of the original water
level, most of the millpond survives undisturbed by later agriculture or
garden works. In addition the leat survives well since it forms a ditch now
incorporated into a modern field boundary.
The dam will have preserved an older ground surface as well as revealing
details of the construction of the earthwork. There may also be parts of the
original timber sluice works in the body of the dam, relating to the small
leats which appear on the south west side of the earthwork.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Cheshire SMR, (1987)

Source: Historic England

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