Report – John Mulcaster to Martin Morrison – 30 Jun 1809

Document Type: Report
Date: 30 Jun 1809
Correspondent: John Mulcaster
Recipient: Martin Morrison
Archive Source: NRO 672 E IF 1
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J Mulcaster’s Report of Smelt Mills & Refinery 30 June 1809


      The reservoirs for the water for Blaydon refinery are now fully completed and Mr. Townley has given leave to convey the Water thro’ his Estate which formerly ran waste for which he charges the yearly rent of £2. 2. 0.  One of the springs we have got conveyed to the reservoir, the other and most considerable one we will no be able to procure untill a field of Corn is cut, the pipes having to pass thro’ a part of it, the distance is very inconsiderable and can be done in two or three days.

      A new water wheel with Cast Iron shrouds, Arms and flanges with a new Wheel Case has also been finished, We have also put in a Cast Iron Cistern, the Whole of the conveyance for the Water with the wheel, being now of Cast Iron, I hope their duration will be very considerable.  We are at present making a pair of Slag hearth bellows, and wood of sufficient size for the boards being very difficult to procure, and as We shall probably be wanting more for the other Mills, I have adopted the suggestion of Mr. Cockshutt and got them made of Cast Iron, which if they be found to answer we need never be at a loss for boards as the Pattern will always be ready when wanted, the present are very good Castings and I have great expectations that they will answer the purpose.

      Nothing has been done to the Quay Wall represented in my last report as being in a dangerous state, the River Jury being upon a view of the River, were shewn the Situation and a sketch of the projection into the River, which they seemed to think too great an encroachment and might probably alter the course of the River.  I am not of the same opinion & without We can get the Quay set out considerably farther than it is at present, it would not be worth the expence of rebuilding it; but as we can for the present year dispense with the low Quay, part of which has fallen down, when we have occasion for more Quay-room I think we had better build an addition to the present range of the new Quay, which would be upon Coll Beaumont’s own property. - Having been at considerable expence with the Iron Pipes and Reservoirs the horizontal Chimnies have also been deferred this Season.

[Allen Mill.]

      Two new Bingsteads and the road across Mr. Dixon’s field to the back of them has been made at Allen Mill and two or three more will be added as soon as possible - a Roasting furnace is also in considerable forwardness and will soon be completed. - The Water wheel shaft has lately again begun to have crackling noise and I have had Michael Elliott [a millwright?] to examine it, who thinks the fault is in the Shaft not being sufficiently strong which makes it bend, and occasions the working of the barrelling - Mr Robson is of opinion that it may be cured by drawing every other stave of the barrelling and reducing them as he thinks that the crackling is occasioned by the barrelling being over tight. - But as Mr Cockshutt will probably be in the Country Shortly, I shall not do anything untill I have his directions.  Timber still continuing very dear the building the Counting house here, has been deferred.

[Rookhope Mill.]

      The building of the horizontal Chimnies at Rookhope Mill was late in commencing owing to the very uncertain state of the weather this Spring.  I thought that the cheapest and most expeditious [way] to get them done was to advertise the building them by proposals, and have accordingly agreed with the lowest on reasonable terms, the person agreed with is a very good mason & qualified for the undertaking.

      Having experienced considerable difficulty last year in procuring Carriers for a sufficient quantity of Lead Ore to the different Mills and especially to Dukesfield, we have been under the necessity of advancing the prices this year which yet appears to be insufficient as the Alston Moor Proprietors have more extensively advanced theirs and in all probability would continue to do so if Coll: Beaumont’s were again to be advanced, as many of those miners are under the necessity of having the Lead Ore brought to market to procure money to carry on these mines & therefore will give any price to secure the Carriers.  From there being such a demand for Carriers occasioned by the great quantities of Ore being raised at Cross-fell and in Alston Moor which has mostly this year been carried to a considerable distance, it becomes the more necessary for Coll: Beaumont to have a sufficient number of his own Carriers who can be depended upon & therefore the more urgent necessity for enforcing as many of Coll Beaumont’s Tenants as have convenience for that purpose to keep Galloways.

      The Greenwich Hospital having nearly changed all their old Tenants and very considerably advanced their rents, We have had very little assistance from them this year, which has also made our Lead carriers very scarce & obliged us to raise that carriage considerably from Rookhope & Dukesfield Mills, but I have little fear but that We shall be able to get all the Lead brought in that will be wanted.

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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