Report – James Cockshutt to unknown – 10 Oct 1811

Document Type: Report
Date: 10 Oct 1811
Correspondent: James Cockshutt
Recipient: unknown
Archive Source: NRO 2672 Box C105
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Report on a View of the Works of Col: & Mrs Beaumont

1811 Sepr. 25 to Octr.

      On a view of Blaydon.  I found a small double power Engine of 5 or 6 Horse power at work, conformable to the directions given on last View      1810 for the purposes of raising Water to supply the diffiency [sic] occasioned by the escape of the Water in the old Collieries from whence a supply had been obtained.  The Engine appeared very well executed and was working very well.  It appears by J. Mulcasters remarks that this Engine will not require to be worked more than half its time, therefore such a Mill being somewhere wanted it was proposed to apply its power when not otherwise wanted to work a pair of stones to pulverise or grind Lead fume, of which at such intervals it would be capable of grinding a very considerable Quantity, & such a machine has been already constructed at Langly Mill, for that purpose.

      At Allen Mill some improvement has been made in the Blowing Machine at this place yet the shaft continues, by its creaking noise & appearance, to be in some danger of failing, yet it may serve for a length of time having been at different periods carefully secured, & another piece of timber has been provided in case of any accident.

      The Quantity of Lead recovered from the Horizontal Chimnies continues so considerable that partly to increase the quantity & partly to secure the men from the annoyance to which they are sometimes subject when the wind happens to be in a certain quarter, a chimney of much greater dimentions and height in imitation of one which has very well succeeded at Langley Mill, such another has been here constructed to the height of about 60 feet, & the Horizontal part of the Chimnies made to return once oftener, & thus gives great reason to expect that both purposes will be effected.  But it is remarked by the Agent Mr Dixon that since the increase of the Smelting Hearths at this place, great part of the Land he held has suffered very much.   

	The projected Improvement at Allenheads instead of removing the smelt Mill as had been under consideration being pretty far advanced, I proceeded to that place, where a more powerful Water Wheel as before directed is now in great forwardness, & made of a greater width as well as greater Diam[ete]r. with a better & improved plan of working the Bellows at this place and also considerable progress made in enlarging or rather in making a new Reservoir, to this Mill as marked out on an examination I made on a former View; and the cast pipes then determined upon to conduct the Water to the Wheel, have been provided & will altogether give a considerable increase of Power & Value to this useful Work.

      Hexham Corn Mill on a 2d. view of the Progress of this Work on my return from the Lead Works, to meet Mr Thomas at his particular request, some general directions, for disposing & placing the Mill Stones &c were determined upon, to be worked in the new Mill, which is now covering in, & a new & very powerful Water Wheel in a state of great forwardness; but as the Business before performed by 4 Water Wheels is to be done it must be more than can be performed by one Wheel, the remaining part of the old Mill, at present at work with a very bad W. wheel, ‘till the new Mill begins, & it will be necessary to have some work here continued or the usual business cannot be performed.  But for the present Mr Thomas wished any further determinations to be suspended, ‘till the new mill gets to work – But I feel no hesitation in recommending another Wheel of equal power with that now constructing, it will not greatly exceed the expence of such a one as is now at work there it will very much increase the value of this situation, where I understand there is a demand for far much more business, than can be performed unless a greater power be applied, than a Wheel of the dimentions of the old one.

      On the practice of Roasting Ore it has been remarked by J. Mulcaster of which he will transmit a full Acc[oun]t showing that since the Introduction of Roasting Furnaces, the Horizontal Chimnies (tho’ the Quantity of Fume continues considerable) has decreased, which I consider another argument in favour of the Roasting system.

      On Allen Corn Mill.  Importuned by J. Simpson to view the Field he is so solicitous to purchase at almost any price.  From the very bad state of this Mill, it cannot be long before some material improvement will [be] required.  An old fulling mill a little above the Cornmill has been discontinued and totally taken down, therefore the Fall at this place may be added to the Hand or fall of the Cornmill, and again I see the present Weir may be raised some feet & together will render this mill much more powerful & is a situation I understand what very well will justify such an improvement which I feel right now to state, that at a proper time it may be fully examined, & I am persuaded, it will be right wholy to remove the mill to a more convenient situation a little farther from the River, but the sale of this Field, without the consent of the purchaser it would take away the power of such an improvement.

Huthwait Oct. 10th 1811			James Cockshutt

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    James Cockshutt leased and operated Wortley Iron Works near Barnsley from at least 1793 to his death in 1816. He was an early exponent of Cort’s ironworking processes, and the Wortley works are “commonly accepted” to have been the first bar mill with grooved rolls to be erected in Yorkshire (see ‘The Story of Wortley Ironworks’ by C. Reginald Andrews, 2nd edition 1956, pages 44-50). The Wortley works are preserved and open to the public at weekends in the summer.

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The Dukesfield Smelters and Carriers Project aimed to celebrate and discover the heritage of the Dukesfield Arches & lead carriers' routes between Blaydon and the lead mines of Allendale and Weardale. A two year community project, it was led by the Friends of the North Pennines in partnership with Hexhamshire and Slaley Parish Councils and the active support of Allendale Estates. It was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the generous support of other sponsors. Friends of the North Pennines: Charity No:1137467