Coal Mining in East Leeds

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chameleon
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Post by chameleon »

Warrington, I think we are clear in thinking there were two sites for a Foundry Mill and have demonstrated that the water for each was derived from different sources directions, both from the cartology and personal recolections. Parksider can probably elaborate on this with more ease than I just at the moment.    

warringtonrhino
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Post by warringtonrhino »

I have 22 maps of this area starting in 1786. All the maps except one show only one location for a mill with various names. i.e. mill, foundry mill, foundry mill (corn) and eventually Foundry mill disused. A 1849 map shows a building called OLD FOUNDRY to the SE of Seacroft Lodge, it is across the road roughly where Bower Cottage and the windmill was. It is not on any other map and I suspect it was not too accurate - the detail on the map is sketchy and is not complete, and I have dismissed that map for those reasons. The 1930-70's Seacroft housing developments, may have removed any trace of a mill and its supporting infrastructure, but several of my maps predate that period, and none show any trace of a second mill.In 1792 when the property was sold, the Sale description was 'Iron foundry with an engine, water wheel, warehouses, shops, 2 houses and 6 cottages with 13 acres of land' . (The houses were Seacroft Lodge) This clearly describes the exact buildings and land in the area of foundry mill, the same mill that is called Foundry Mill (corn) on later maps. This suggests to me that they were probably the same building or at least they were very close to each other. Have I missed a clue?I have a half completed perspective of the mill compex, (similar to my Pigeon Cote farn drawing) which will be finished when I get the details of the mill buildings.I would love to know were the name 'Foundry' came from? I need to learn how iron was produced it might answer some of my queries.

The Parksider
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Post by The Parksider »

chameleon wrote: Parksider can probably elaborate on this with more ease than I just at the moment.     Some superb research and tremendous fresh thinking. Can I reply overnight?Nope - but I will reply bit by bit cross checking everthing, look fowards to doing so tonight for a start....

The Parksider
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Post by The Parksider »

warringtonrhino wrote: I have 22 maps of this area starting in 1786. All the maps except one show only one location for a mill with various names. i.e. mill, foundry mill, foundry mill (corn) and eventually Foundry mill disused. None show any trace of a second mill.In 1792 when the property was sold, the Sale description was 'Iron foundry with an engine, water wheel, warehouses, shops, 2 houses and 6 cottages with 13 acres of land' . This clearly describes the exact buildings and land in the area of foundry mill, the same mill that is called Foundry Mill (corn) on later maps. This suggests to me that they were probably the same building or at least they were very close to each other. Have I missed a clue?I would love to know were the name 'Foundry' came from? I need to learn how iron was produced it might answer some of my queries. The foundry mill has a date of opening of 1725 and may have re-opened the monks iron industry in seacroft. It may have been a reaction to Abrahan Darby's blast furnace that could use coal (plenty from the seacroft and manston pits) rather than the charcoal which had run out.In 1740 it was a corn mill though - a change of use possibly due to technical difficulties with the blast furnace. Smeaton helped engineer these difficulties out around 1780ish so it may have gone back to iron then. The fact is it changed used from iron to corn to iron to corn!!The mill ponds are too high we think for mathers leats from his dam near to todays's park. There's no evidence mathers had anything to do with Iron.Certainly there was a bloomery water powered in the 1200's and 1300's and there was a big cinder heap by the beck. This indicates that the straightened Wyke beck may have had an iron mill.But the course of Mathers leat often thought to be a double line on OS maps just west of wyke beck is very confusing. The line on maps (Burt believes clearly shows the leat in his roundhay park book) is very confused by township and field boundaries.It could be that this is not the leat but the old course of wyke beck you suggest and that the straightened wyke beck is the leat?If so Mathers dam and watercourse fed a mill on the straightend wyke beck leat we know as the beck itself today. A weir and stonework in the beck is still there to puzzle over.As for the later foundry mill, it's believed the mill ponds were fed by Rossgill curving around the hillside in a channeled watercourse.I thought we had a long history of iron founding. It may be we had a medievel industry on the wyke with water powered bloomeries that ground to a halt around the dissolution of the monasteries, Mathers may have set up a cornmill and used stone from the bloomeries to build another mill on the beck not for iron. That could have gone with the windmill. Then then when the blast furnace was invented the area was inspired to re-start the iron industry but with overshot wheels for greater blast power fed from ponds on the hillside above. Wyke beck being abandoned for power.To me this fits best (aknowledgement to Grumpytramp as ever)

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chameleon
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Post by chameleon »

Streuth Parkie! All those weeks of endless back aand forth posts and you've sumarised it all in some 50 lines or soBut then, I said alsewhere recently, if everything was perfectly documented, most of the fun of the chase in something like this wouldn't be there

warringtonrhino
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Post by warringtonrhino »

Sorry - I am new to this thread, and it may have been asked previously.What is the evidence for a 1200- 1300 water powered bloomery near wyke beck? Can anyone recommend a map or document to help plug a gap in my knowledge.

grumpytramp
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Post by grumpytramp »

Parkie, happy new year to you, lad ........... a nice summary of a few years of debate!I haven't forgotten about this thread and as soon as I get a few moments to myself (perhaps this weekend) I will set out my latest thoughts! warringtonrhino wrote: Sorry - I am new to this thread, and it may have been asked previously.What is the evidence for a 1200- 1300 water powered bloomery near wyke beck? Can anyone recommend a map or document to help plug a gap in my knowledge. Good luck to you following this thread ......... it has swung from the Gipton, Cross Gates, Foundry Mill through to Woodhouse Moor, Waterloo Main, Barnbow and all stops east of Leeds Central!Oh aye, this is one of my favourites here ;-)Bottom line there is no physical evidence of a 13th century water powered bloomery however there is documentary evidence left in the records of Kirkstall Abbey and the Duchy of Lancaster. For a starting point refer to my post of 3rd April 2010 on page 10 of this thread which gives some sources.You might also find the following of my posts useful:8th Jan 2009 - Page 3 - Foundry Mill21st Nov 2009 - Page 8 - General14th March 2010 [2 posts] - Page 9 - Ref Foundary Mill16th March 2010 - Page 10 - General12th Dec 2010 - Page 10 - General 21st Dec 2010 - Page 11 - General22nd Dec 2010 [2 posts] - Page 11 - GeneralThere is a lot to take in, the detail of which is quite subjective and that makes it all the more fascinating!A letter to Channel 4 for a Time Team investigation?Cheerie!G

The Parksider
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Post by The Parksider »

warringtonrhino wrote: Sorry What is the evidence for a 1200- 1300 water powered bloomery near wyke beck? Can anyone recommend a map or document to help plug a gap in my knowledge. If you read the thread there's some truly fantastic research by Grumpytramp in which he finds thoresby society references to mineral rights documents where the cistercian monks at Kirkstall are being allowed to run ironstone mining in Roundhay and Whinmoor. If they mined it they also founded it.On the 1803 taylors plan of roundhay there is a cinder hill marked. This is in Roundhay of 1803 today it would be called as being in seacroft/oakwood. The main archeological evidence of bloomeries is the cinder/slag piles. At most sites the stonework was removed for re-building other buildings. These cynder heaps were installed into Fearnville playing fields for drainage, and were confirmed as bloomery slag by Burts medieval iron expert on his field walk.Grumpytramps research in the duchy of Lancaster accounts shows a bloomery working in 1295 in Roundhay his brilliant interpretation of the accounts was that they showed indications it was a major concern and therefore would have been undershot waterwheel driven as was the way these worked then.The natural assumption must be that at this time there was a waterwheel in the beck running a Bloomery bellows and the result was industrial production enough to create a slag heap and that cynder hills was that heap.This pre-dates Mathers considerably, I am of the opinion just today looking at the maps that because the Roundhay/Seacroft boundary follows the line of the beck down from seacroft grange and then stops following it at easterly road but runs just west of it along a line thought to be the leat that YOU Warrington Rhino on your research concludes is actually the old course of the beck and that todays beck is in a false position given the valley shape. I find your conclusion another key in unlocking this puzzle.The deviation from the wyke beck we know today seems to start where the alleged mathers leat would have started, and seems to end immediately after the wyke as we know it today, starts to take a natural winding course again.Suprise suprise - just after the bloomery and cynder heap position!!!I feel that mathers of course set up a dam and mill leat in 1577 for powering a "new watermill".But I also feel that the beck's position - at least some of it - was altered well before that and possibly originally for the Bloomery.This is fascinating if you go to the bridge at the bottom of north parkway. Look one way at the old weir, look the other way at the stonework on the beck sides keeping it straight.Who did that? The monks to found Iron, or Mathers to mill corn???Finally anyone, do we know the date of the Windmill at Seacroft?

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Post by The Parksider »

grumpytramp wrote: Parkie, happy new year to youI haven't forgotten about this thread and as soon as I get a few moments to myself (perhaps this weekend) I will set out my latest thoughts! Happy new year.I do hope you excuse me quoting you "under your nose" I just want to keep the pot boiling for when you get time to come up with any new thoughts...........One question I have pondered which I think was answered by Burt is when did the Ironstone industry end in Roundhay (or seacroft today) and Burt refers to accounts in 1424 when the ironstone mine was not working for want of dry underwood. 1491 a farmer was compensated because mining had destroyed his grazing land. Burt asserts that the ravages of the industry along the wyke valley had "altered the beautiful beck that ran though the park" There are accounts of the park being badly managed and stripped of timber. No charcoal available etc. Burt assersts that ironstone became exhausted and they had to dig ever deeper for coal "by the sixteenth century production had ceased completely".I missed the quote about the beck being "altered" completely. It does not say exactly wether digging coal and iron pits alongside it did that or wether arranging waterpower feeds did it, but it's a brand new clue from an old source I was not awake enough to spot!!As for the industry coming to an end in the 16th Century and mathers being virtually given the run of the wyke beck to do what he wanted with in 1577 it is certain in my mind now mathers built a corn mill on the beck after the ironstone industry abandoned it. He will have used stone from any bloomery to build it?Another reference I found was that in the time of James 1st Seacroft had two watermills. I can conclude that one was Mathers Cornmill, but the other I don't know. This is why I am interested in the date of the Windmill. Could that have shut down mathers cornmill - the next question here being one you will be more qualified to judge - were windmills more efficient that undershot water mills - could the windmill have close mathers cornmill down? If that was the case and it happened in the early 1700's did they then dismantle the cornmill to build foundry Mill.    

warringtonrhino
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Post by warringtonrhino »

Water wheels and corn mills, I have the script of the talk given by E KIlburn Scott, in 1933 'Old water-wheel at Seacroft Leeds'. Good technical descriptions with diagrams of the Sections and elevations of the water wheel, Foundry Lane Seacroft, Gearing and Shaft details. together with lots of asides (8 pages) . If anyone is interested -please e-mail me.Coal Mines -I have a map which I was commisioned to produce, (but not paid) of the Manston Collieries 1866 -Beston Park Bedit covers the area from Killingbeck Lodge to Ellen pit in GarforthIt is approx A1 but I will gladly scan it if anyone is interested.

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