Coal Mining in East Leeds

Off-topic discussions, musings and chat
grumpytramp
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JoinedCOLON Mon 24 Sep, 2007 6:28 pm

Postby grumpytramp » Tue 28 Feb, 2012 11:16 pm

I have a few more thoughts/snippets and would like to come back to Parkie and Warringtonrhinos comments/questions but its time for a bath, beer and bed ........... so they will wait a for another evening!

The Parksider
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JoinedCOLON Sat 10 Nov, 2007 3:55 am

Postby The Parksider » Wed 29 Feb, 2012 1:31 am

warringtonrhino wrote:


I agree, furthermore the watercourse west of Fox Wood, has a bank on the south west edge. So it is not simply a straightened beck, it has been moved up the valley slope, presumably to maintain a head of water for a mill.

Slightly Different Topic

I believe bloomery ironmaking did not require permenant buildings
so when the work ceased, there would be no ruins, to plot on a map. Corn mills however are substantial buildings, and long after their useful life, ought to have some recordable evidence. There are no ruins, or maps showing ruins on the Wyke beck, does this mean there was never a corn mill on wyke beck?



It's late and I want time to ponder GT's thoughts, but dealing with these points I think........

Your idea of moving the water "up the slope" may have been a method of supplying the waterwheel in a more efficient way i.e. breastfed rather than undershot. AFAIK The latest Mill - Foundry Mill -was overshot - the most efficient wheel power.

The remains in the straightened stream today - a weir and a narrowed stone lined channel indicate an undershot wheel.

So to me there's at least two mills in the valley, but again I want to ponder GT's expert thoughts. At this stage your joint thoughts indicate substantial water power engineering in the valley.

On the bloomeries, they would have had a stonework construction of some kind in late medieval times, even if just to support some kind of roof and have stonework for the furnaces etc. The industry was centuries old by then and had an element of relative sophistication. There would be no ruins because dressed stone had a value (and still has today) and any closed down bloomery would have it's stone taken en masse leaving nothing but foundations. Who knows but the corn mill could have been built of bloomery stone, and the foundry mill built of cornmill stone.

What really old maps there are have such a large gap between them in years that industrial buildings could have been assembled and dismantled within the years between each map and in any case early maps would not feature every feature as OS do.

I'd want to see what maps there are for say 1400-1700 before accepting that if they did not depict the mills or ruins of the mills then those mills do not exist. I suspect there's little in the way of maps - do you know any?

For evidence there were Mills, in 1577 Mathers was granted permission to build a mill and the watercourses confirm he at least got that far!! In 1603 King james 1st re-assigned seacroft to another owner when it was recorded there were "two watermills" in the township albeit under one roof????. See GT's research below

I am in mind of several lead mills in the dales dating from 1500's to 1700's which have very little if any record on maps of that time, and which today the sites show no dressed stone. Sometimes their existence is merely proven by archived accounts, and their remains are just a few undulations in the grass.

I'm certain there was a substantial cornmill, the evidence is overwhelming to me. The date of the windmill would really help..
    
The Parksider
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JoinedCOLON Sat 10 Nov, 2007 3:55 am

Postby The Parksider » Wed 29 Feb, 2012 2:24 am

grumpytramp wrote:


J W Morkill who gives some really useful information contained in his paper “Manor and Park of Roundhay” He notes that in 1603 the estate of Seacroft was granted by James I to Charles, Earl of Devon at an annual rent of 25s. Seacroft is described in the grant as

Quote:
all that our Manor or Farm of Seacroft within the lordship of Roundhaye, in our county of York, with all its rights, &c. And also all mines of coal lying and being within the wastes of the Lord the King of Wynmore. And also two Water Mills under one roof in Seacroft , in the said county of York, with the Pools, Rivers, Wears, Vivares and Watercourses to the same belonging now or late in the tenure or occupation of Christopher Mather or his assigns, being parcel of the possessions of our Duchy of Lancaster.
Dated 28th February, 1 James I


What is really interesting is the description in the grant two Water Mills under one roof in Seacroft

There is clearly no possibility that Mather’s mill referred to in these grants can be Foundry Mill (unless water can flow uphill) and we have already identified the leat that supplied Foundry Mill.

My hypothesis is that Christopher Mather constructed a dam that captured a large volume of the flow of the Wyke Beck and directed it in a purpose constructed leat towards a mill located at its end (to the immediate east of Low Gipton). I suspect that his two Water Mills under one roof in Seacroft was actually achieved by using the remaining water running in the original course of the Wyke Beck supplemented by the flow of Bailey Rein to operate a separate water-wheel driven mill in the same milling complex.



I failed to go back to the wealth of info on the thread in my enthusiasm. Superb GT research here showing the two mills were under one roof.

The above should assist Warrington Rhino to conclude there's no doubt about a cornmill.
The Parksider
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Postby The Parksider » Wed 29 Feb, 2012 12:16 pm

grumpytramp wrote:


I am now firmly of the opinion that downstream of Easterly Road that the original course of the Wyke Beck has been diverted into two separate mill leats/goits and by the mid 19th Century the beck no longer ran along its original course.

The second leat/goit is the westerly course and more obviously engineered course. I think that this is Mather’s leat/goit.

There is little doubt that the weir at Eastfield Cottage is the one constructed by Mather and if one examines closely the 1893 1:2500 OS map the westerly course is clearly an engineered course running south before turning to contour the valley side. His leat/goit had the advantage of relying primarily on gaining a head of water by damming the combined Roundhay and Wkye Beck’s and directing the flow into a channel that would be easier to maintain that a contouring leat/goit while still capturing the likes of Arthurs Rein. [see attached above]

One interesting feature is the pond that Parkie identified earlier is the pond to the immediate north of Fox Wood Farm ........ was this part of the same system (perhaps topped up with a leat from Arthurs Rein) used to supplement the flow during low water? Or was it part of a latter mill associated with Fox Wood Farm



OK here we go!!!!

Your excellent work and warringtons excellent work combine to show the wyke beck was re-engineered to create (at varying times?) a mill leat to the west of the valley and a mill leat to the east. That's great, but which supplied what mill waterwheel, when and where??

Pre Easterly Road the OS show the outline of Mathers dam, by now dried up at Ellers close near the park. It also appears on Thorpes 1819 map as filled up with water. The OS show the weir at Eastfield cottage. Here is my first point. The weir here works (as Rhino points out) by damming the water and forcing the flow primarily into an engineered channel. That channel is the eastern one. The overspill only goes down the western straightened beck. If Mathers built this shouldnt his his cornmill be on the end of that channel of which today there's no trace left of channel nor mill????.

If so that leaves the western channel for a possible iron bloomery?
Here is my second problem. Taylors map puts cynder hills way south of Foxwood farm and Arthurs Rein. However the map had a purpose of setting out the names of parcels of land under various ownerships in the township. How accurate was the map? Did he position Cynder Hills with any care??? Did he even go there? He certainly did not show the beck as straightened - nor did Taylor come to that, and neither particularly depict a second watercourse. These maps are hard to rely on.

Having said that and gone to site again, I withdraw completely and accept a five point penalty my idea that Foxwood Farm is a good possible site for a Mill. If you go on Google earth and look at the valley, you can pick out the first footbridge at the point where kentmere approach? crosses over the beck into the series of cul de sacs at the Grange Park area.

It is at THAT POINT there is the wide weir delivering water under the bridge and into a narrow stone lined channel to speed the flow for a wheel. That is ALSO the point at which OS maps show a pond and trees directly to the side of this arrangement.

Foxwood farm is way down on the second footbridge that is gone now but crosses to north parkway. Cynder hills is way down again.

The only conclusion I am left with is the pond, weir and narrow channel is a very very good site for a mill. On the OS maps there's some trees and this looks like as an old mill site it was just abandoned as it was (all slates and dressed stone reclaimed no doubt) because no crops or decent grazing would grow on it.

But it's a long way from the cynder hills so if this mill produced iron they must have carted the slag quite a distance which they would not have done. It is the case that at this point old black cinders make up a substantial path. Significant?? Red Herring???

If that's Mathers Mill on the eastern side of the current straightened course of wyke back today (and hey, I'm sorry I can't do maps and plans on computers, lifes too short to struggle with user unfriendly stuff) then why did Mathers use a weir to channel the principle flow of water down the western watercourse????

A key question for GT to ponder.........

For me a look back through 14 pages for clues I may have missed. IIRC someone recalls cynder hills before it went into Fearnville drainage......



The Parksider
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Postby The Parksider » Wed 29 Feb, 2012 9:40 pm

grumpytramp wrote:


Time to go back to that old chestnut of Foundary Mill and its water supply. Having convinced myself that the water could not have been led from Wyke Beck by a leat; time for me to backtrack completely!

I came across a paper entitled "Local worthies and genealogy" by J W Morkill in the short biography of Smeaton he refers at the end intriguingly (and this will get the pulses going) to Foundary Mill:

Quote:
In the immediate neighbourhood of his home may still be seen two specimens of Smeaton's ingenuity - the hydraulic ram at Templenewsam, by means of which water is forced to the roof of the hall (mentioned by Smiles); and a water wheel at the Foundary Mill, in the parish of Seacroft. Perhaps the most interesting feature of the latter is the canal and tunnel through which the water is conveyed from a point in the Roundhay Beck a mile away


OK I am convinced now but where was the tunnel? :-)


This was worth bringing back up from page 6.

Morkills Thoresby society paper may carry more academic weight than some of the "asides" we have seen referring to wyke beck and it's mills and watercourses.

If he was accurate in the "canal" and "tunnel" feed from Roundhay Beck/wyke beck junction then what would fit the OS maps we see and the evidence on the ground, is that the 1725 venturers who built the foundry mill and installed a blast furnace may also have built the weir at Eastfield cottage to raise the level of the water in the beck to get the height to just manage the fall to run a watercourse along the hillside to the Foundry Mill (Rhino seems to be with this).

In building a high weir they may have just got the water through to Foundry Mill. The way the weir is built is such that the feed water is running down towards the foundry mill. The overspill runs into the beck itself.

But of course the foundry mill did not work properly and reverted to corn. Maybe that did not work properly and so wind power was used over on York Road at the Seacroft Windmill for grinding corn leaving the foundry mill available again?? Then when Smeaton fitted a new wheel and re-engineered the water system he appeared to bring a new feed from Rossgill as well as experiment with water supplies from mine drainage.

Thus the leat from Roundhay became redundant.

If the Roundhay beck weir and leat did not work in the end it would explain why it ended up as a dead end and why in the end it was simply diverted down into the wyke back via the Rein stream as we see on OS Maps.

My theory disagrees that Mathers built the Eastfield cottage Weir.
It suggests the Foundry Mill built it.

However you did believe Mathers straightened the beck, and so the old weir in the beck, the stone lined narrow channel and the pond and abandoned site next to these features is most probably Mathers corn mill.

What of the Iron Bloomery? Well that existed somewhere downstream near cynder Hills, designed and built as all undershot in stream waterwheel powered bloomeries were built and operated in medieval times - and like most of them only the cynders remain???    
grumpytramp
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Postby grumpytramp » Thu 01 Mar, 2012 12:06 am

The Parksider wrote:
If he was accurate in the "canal" and "tunnel" feed from Roundhay Beck/wyke beck junction then what would fit the OS maps we see and the evidence on the ground, is that the 1725 venturers who built the foundry mill and installed a blast furnace may also have built the weir at Eastfield cottage to raise the level of the water in the beck to get the height to just manage the fall to run a watercourse along the hillside to the Foundry Mill (Rhino seems to be with this).

In building a high weir they may have just got the water through to Foundry Mill. The way the weir is built is such that the feed water is running down towards the foundry mill. The overspill runs into the beck itself.


Sorry water from Wyke Beck from the weir at Eastfield Cottage could not reach Foundry Mill.

See the attached extracts from 1893 1:2500 OS maps

You will see that there is a road level noted very close to the Askett Hill Ford across the Wyke Beck of 189 feet Above Ordnance Datum (above sea level) which must have been somewhere in the vicinity of:

http://www.leodis.net/display.aspx?resourceIdentifier=2002326_80799502&DISPLAY=FULL

Note that these are levels above the weir at Eastfield Cottage

You will note that there are road levels and a bench mark on Foundry Lane in the immediate vicinity of the Foundry Mill which vary between 189 and 195 feet Above Ordnance Datum. Now I would accept that is likely that that the surfacing of Foundry Lane lay at a higher elevation than Foundry Mill, but it is also important to remember that Smeaton's waterwheel was overshot and had a diameter of 28 feet (Important this means it the leat supplying the mill had to be at a elevation at least 28 foot higher than the invert level of the beck flowing away from Foundry Mill).

Considering that the Asket Hill Ford is approximately 1.5km as the crow flies to Foundry Mill and the complete absence of a true hydraulic gradient I consider it inconceivable that the water supplying Foundry Mill came from the Wyke Beck.                        
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grumpytramp
PostsCOLON 331
JoinedCOLON Mon 24 Sep, 2007 6:28 pm

Postby grumpytramp » Thu 01 Mar, 2012 12:11 am

The water that supplied Foundry Mill was sourced from the beck draining to the Wyke Beck from Seacroft (sort of paralell to Foundry Lane) and from a leat which ran due North and contoured the east side of the Wyke Beck valley.

It is clearly visible on most of the OS maps and was still marked as a watercourse till the Seacroft Estate was constructed

See attached above
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grumpytramp
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Postby grumpytramp » Thu 01 Mar, 2012 12:16 am

The water management system at Foundry Mill becomes clear if you examine the 1893 OS 1:2500 maps

See attached above
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grumpytramp
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JoinedCOLON Mon 24 Sep, 2007 6:28 pm

Postby grumpytramp » Thu 01 Mar, 2012 12:19 am

It becomes even clearer when you look at the detail ....... see attached above

You can see the sluice arrangement (complete with footbridge) and even Smeaton's water wheel!
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grumpytramp
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Postby grumpytramp » Thu 01 Mar, 2012 12:21 am

Having set out my understanding of water management in the Wyke Beck valley, as soon as I have a moment I will start to address the backlog of commentary I should make to all of this :-)

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