History of the Mill

Edale itself is mentioned in the Domesday Book "Aidele: King's land in the charge of William Peverel".

Originally Kirk Farm, Robert Kirk, a blacksmith, was the owner (along with Abraham and Robert Iberson) of the land and buildings which included a smithy. Thomas Cresswell purchased the property and land in 1785 it may well have been a corn mill before this time.

Thomas' son Nicholas took over the lease of the Mill in 1793. He added to the existing gritstone structure, and the newer rectangular building was four stories high and was used as a Cotton Mill from this time.

A large mill pond was built and controlled by sluice gates near the Mill Cottages which fed the water wheel. Arkwright looms were installed and raw cotton was brought to the mill by packhorse trains of around 50-60 horses. The leading horses wore bells which assisted those following in darkness and fog.

The horses then carried the thread which was spun at the mill on their return journey to Manchester.

The workers in the mill would have been mainly women and children. Mainly resident in Castleton, they would have walked over the hill via Hollins Cross every day, whatever the weather.

Nicholas Cresswell died in 1804 and the mill was sold to Robert Blackwell of Wirksworth for 2,600.

In 1835 Robert Blackwell died and his widow sold the mill to a Hector Christie from Montrose. The Christie family added the circular stone staircase and toilets. Production also changed around this time from cotton thread to a finer thread used in the manufacture of lace.

The construction of the Sheffield to Manchester railway around 1894 and the associated access to coal engendered a change to steam power for the mill and saw the erection of a chimney and engine sheds.

After the mill closed in 1934 it was used as a warehouse. During the Second World War soldiers returning from Dunkirk were housed in the mill in the early 1940s. Eventually the building fell into disrepair.

The mill was converted to residential flats in the 1970s.