Report – John Mulcaster to Martin Morrison – 29 Oct 1808

Document Type: Report
Date: 29 Oct 1808
Correspondent: John Mulcaster
Recipient: Martin Morrison
Archive Source: NRO 672 E IF 1
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J.Mulcaster’s Report Octobr 29th 1808

Blaydon Refinery.

      The Iron Pipes are now all laid & the joints caulked according to the directions given by Mr. Cockshutt; the Pipes are laid in such a manner that the Water can be taken from either Reservoir without stopping the Refinery.  The new Reservoir pointed out to Mr. Cockshutt & approved of by him for collecting the Mud etc. which are brought down from Winlaton by the Rain in great quantities, is now forming & will be much easier cleaned than the large Reservoir.  Mr. Townley’s agent has been again applied to & his acquiescence to use the waste water is expected, which is very desirable as we have a great quantity of old wastes lying at present quite useless in the Refinery - a new Blowing Machine will be wanted as the Slag Hearth is now wrought by the Refinery bellows.  It will also be necessary to increase the Power of the Water Wheel, at present unequal.  Michael Elliott thinks the Wheel cannot with advantage be widened, and recommends a Cast Iron one which will be very little more expensive than a wood one & considerably more durable.  If it is determined to erect Horizontal Chimnies at this place the sooner in the Spring they are proceeded with the better; the advantages of such erections are ascertained from the experiments & calculations already in the possession of Mr. Cockshutt. - the Quay rented of Miss Simpson and Lord Strathmore is so decayed that it is dangerous to lay Lead upon some parts of it, and to make it useful it is thought that it will be necessary to take it down to the foundations; however, as Coll & Mrs. Beaumont are now only Tenants at Will, it will be prudent to endeavour to obtain a Lease even at an advance.  If the Quay is taken down it is recommended to set it out in the manner shewn in the enclosed sketch, considerably more Quay Room being procured thereby, which is necessary; the present Quay therefore must either be put in a state of Security, or, build an addition to Coll Beaumont’s own, which will not be so convenient as the other.

[Line drawing of quay given at this point, omitted from transcript but included in the download version of this document]

Dukesfield Mill.

      Mr. Westgarth has been desired to employ the Roasting Furnace as much as possible this Winter and to make repeated Trials of Lead ores to ascertain the benefits to be derived from that operation.  If it should be found beneficial to employ the Roasting Furnace constantly at this place it will be necessary to erect a new one in a larger house, as the confined situation of the present place, renders it unpleasant & probably injurious to the health of the Workman.  It will make a Coal house & save the expence of building one as projected.

Rookhope Mill.

      The new Bingsteads are now completed & part of them in use, an opportunity is now afforded of separating the different Ores, the advantages of which have been pointed out.  Clay for making Bricks and Stones for the Foundation of Horizontal Chimnies are preparing, so that We shall be ready to commence building early in the Spring.  The Roasting of Ore is here constantly practised as usual.

Allenheads Mill.

      Nothing worthy of observation has occurred.

Allen Mill.

      The Water Wheel shaft has been examined and additional hoops applied & which has in a great measure cured the Wheel of the noise observed before; a small Stream of Water  has been conveyed in a Tin Pipe enclosed in a wood Box to fall upon the Gudgeon.  The Bingsteads and the new road leading to them are in progress and expect both will be ready for the reception of Ore early in the Spring.  The Counting house and Roasting Furnace is deferred ‘til Spring that they may be built in better weather.  The old Corn Mill and old low Mill House have been taken down and the Stones applied to building the Bingsteads etc.

      The Mill Agents who have Furnaces for Roasting Ore, have been desired to attend particularly to that operation and that the Lead so produced be marked with R which is to be continued upon the Lead after Refining as well as upon the labels attached to the Litharge Casks by which the difference of quality (if any) may be observed & pointed out.

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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