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British Industrial History

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Bleakhills Mill

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or Bleak Hills Mill, of Mansfield, Notts

1836 'BALLOON. — We understand that Mr. Septimus Sneath, of the Bleak-hills Mill, Mansfield has nearly manufactured a large balloon, and purposes making his first ascent with it from that town this summer. Success attend his enterprising ingenuity.'[1]. Charles Dickens would have been pleased to have invented such a name and address.

1840 Death notice: 'At Mansfield, a few days ago, Mr. James Sneath, aged 67 years, late of the Bleak Hills Mill, near Mansfield, which works he carried on for some years after the death of the late Charles Stanton, Esq.'[2]

1859 Advert: 'TO COTTON DOUBLERS. SPINNERS. LACE MAKERS, HOSIERS. BLEACHERS, BREWERS, AND OTHERS.
TO be LET, with immediate possession, all that newly erected FACTORY, known as the Bleak Hills Mill, near Mansfield, in the county of Nottingham, comprising three stories, each 58 feet by 30 feet inside, and room in the roof. Also, a commodious and lofty BUILDING or SHED near, being 62 feet in length, by 35 feet in width, inside, and 21 feet high to the square; abundantly supplied with pure spring water, having recently been used as a Bleachworks. Adjoining the last-named building are a boiler-house, 29 feet 6 inches, by 12 feet; with steam-boiler, 25 feet long, by 5 feet diameter; damp-house, 24 feet 6 inches, by 20 feet; wool stove, 21 feet, by 15 feet 6 inches; dyers' sheds, and other outbuildings.
The Mill is furnished with an iron water-wheel, 19 feet diameter, 6 feet wide, supplied from a reservoir of upwards of six acres, also, with a steam-engine of eight horse power, and new shafting and gearing thereto, also shafting and gearing in the bleachworks in connection therewith.
There are Nine Tenements, with a garden to each, and about three and a half Acres of Grass Land surrounding the Mill.
Further particulars may be obtained on application to Mr. T. Kirkland, Engineer, Mansfield.'[3]

There were several mills in the area known as Bleakhills, south west of Mansfield. The 1886 OS map (1877-8 survey) shows a small Cotton Doubling Mill on Sheepbridge Lane, immediately adjacent to Bleakhills Foundry. These premises were served by a large mill pond. A short distance along the lane to the west was another cotton doubling mill, served by a smaller pond on the River Maund. Since T. Kirkland's name was later associated with the Bleakhills Foundry, it is reasonable to assume that part or all of the mill became the foundry. However, Bleak Hills Mill was advertised for sale in 1889, 'suitable for lace, hosiery, &c.; excellent steam and water power.'[4]


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Sources of Information

  1. Nottingham Review and General Advertiser for the Midland Counties - Friday 10 June 1836
  2. Derbyshire Courier - Saturday 26 September 1840
  3. Derby Mercury - Wednesday 30 March 1859
  4. Nottinghamshire Guardian, 2 February 1889