Welcome to the web site of Mellor Archaeological Trust
The Friends of Castleshaw Roman Forts, which dates back to Agricola’s conquest around AD79, received an award of £70,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Around 150 voluteers, led by experienced...
Samuel Oldknow: the first successful maker of British muslins. From a talk at the Mellor Archaeological Trust Christmas lunch, December 14th, 2014, given by John Hearle In the of the middle of the...
Chinese TV Film Crew at Mellor Mill
China’s National TV is making a ten-episode documentary on INNOVATION. One programme will cover the Industrial Revolution in England, particularly the textile inventions. The film-makers approached the Textile Institute, who contacted me, as a former Chairman of Council, to be interviewed. The date clashed with Oldknow Legacy Project meetings, so I could not go. Instead, I suggested that an important place to film would be the site of the largest mill in the world when it was built in 1790-92.
On Thursday, November 20, the film crew turned up at the Old Vicarage. Looking over to Mill Brow, I described the change from hand spinning and weaving to the small mills on the Mill and Mellor brooks. Then, after stopping at Red Row to show worker’s housing, we went down to the River Goyt, where Bob, Ann and I told them about the building of Mellor Mill. Back at the Old Vicarage, Ann told the story of Samuel Oldknow. They were particularly interested in the link between Oldknow and Sir Richard Arkwright. As we explained how Oldknow borrowed money for capital expenditure, the interviewer made the interesting comment that the Arkwrights, particularly Richard Junior, were acting as the venture capitalists of the day.
There were fascinating aspects of being filmed, such as walking along with the camera following my feet and legs, as one often sees on TV as background images to the presenter’s talk. Down at the mill, it was difficult to pull the cameraman away from filming the flowing river.
Altogether an interesting day!
Mellor Archaeological Trust
About the Trust
The Trust was formed in 2000 following the discovery in 1998 of an Iron Age ditch in the garden of The Old Vicarage next to Mellor Church. Excavations continued to 2009 and have been described as the largest excavation for a generation of a hillfort in North West England "with results as important as those at Beeston Castle". There have been finds from Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Romano-British and Medieval times. In 2007, the Trust extended its activities to cover the whole history of the whole Parish of Mellor. Digs, which are continuing annually, at the Bronze Age burial site of Shaw Cairn on Mellor Moor included finding of nearly 100 beads of an amber necklace in 2008/9. Current work is focused on Mellor Mill, the largest and most impressive cotton mill in the world when it was built in 1790-92. It was burnt out in 1892. The area became woodland, which is now being converted into a small country park showing the remains of the mill and other buildings.
Enjoy reading about the archaeology, history and buildings of Mellor and find out about volunteering, events, publications and other activities.
Mellor Mill painting by Joseph Parry to be displayed in Marple Library
£1.5M Award for Revealing Oldknow's Legacy
John Hearle writes: At the September meeting of the NW HLF committee, an award of £1.5 million was agreed for "Revealing Oldknow's Legacy: Mellor Mill and the Peak Forest Canal in Marple." On November 29, a "pre-startup" meeting between HLF, C&RT and MAT to finalise various details of the way the project would be handled. Once formal permission to start is given, the next step will be to appoint staff and sub-contractors. During the first three months of 2014 the three-year project will become fully operational.
Where is Mellor?
Now on the edge of Stockport in Greater Manchester, Mellor's location is historically important.
On the south-west and north-west, it is bordered by the two great rivers, Goyt and Etherow, which drain the SW Peak District and join to form the Mersey at the lowest point of Mellor.
On the east, a high ridge overlooks a valley, behind which is Kinder Scout. Three spurs, separated by brooks, project west from the ridge.