Tuesday, 9 May 2017
Little Mill, Dalton | Snapshot Series
Tucked away in a small wooded area on a footpath between Dalton and Barrow-in-Furness is a hidden remnant of the past, the remains of Little Mill.
Originally built by the monks of Furness Abbey Little Mill would produce flour for the monastery from grain, using a waterwheel to power the mill stones. It was one of many mills the abbey owned and ran across Furness.
A man made mill pond would have been situated above the mill, filled with water diverted out of the near by Poaka Beck. A water shoot would bring water from this pond to the mill and send it cascading over the top of a large wooden waterwheel. This powerful stream of water would turn the wheel which in turn moved all the cogs and mill stones within the mill building, grinding corn into flour. Where exactly the mill pond was situated and where the shoot was placed is unclear but you can still see evidence of where the mill once stood. Several ruinous sandstone walls give an idea of where the mill buildings once were and there is even a mill stone partially buried in the ground near to these walls.
The mill was in use right through to the 19th Century but the building of the nearby railway brought an end to production at the mill. It was lived in for a time but eventually was left to rot and be mostly demolished.
You can find the site of Little Mill along the footpath leading from Goose Green in Dalton to Furness Abbey (part of the old Cistercian Way). You will stumble across the above mill stone, likely a remnant from the mills later activity, sticking out into the path, look towards the trees behind this to discover the mill site.
It is well worth a wander down this lovely old footpath to truly walk in the footsteps of our ancestors and find this hidden part of our local history.
The Snapshot Series is a series of short posts on singular locations, features or artefacts found in the Furness area. Not large enough to warrant a long blog post we will explore these sites in snapshots!