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Thread: Hermitage Mill, Mansfield, Notts, April 2019

  1. #1
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    Default Hermitage Mill, Mansfield, Notts, April 2019


    1. The History
    Hermitage Mill is built close to the waters of the River Maun which runs alongside the it. Built as a cotton mill in sandstone and three storeys high (with basement), it was at first part of the Unwin family's many business ventures. The Unwin family were a dominant force in the cotton and hosiery industry in nearby Sutton-in-Ashfield. In 1782 Samuel Unwin Jnr. and London banker, James Heygate, leased the hermitage site from the 4th Duke of Portland to build their mill. It was the first mill to be built on the Maun after the 'Arkwright revolution'. The original mill building is still standing, though in a state of disrepair with no currently active use. In the 1870s a large brick extension was built to enable the mill to change from cotton-spinning to the manufacture of lace and hosiery and to accommodate the change from water power to steam power. Other additions included an engine house, by 1878, and boiler room.

    Early picture of the mill showing the original chimney from the pond side:

    20190410_215043 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The building was sold to Clumber Building Supplies in the 1950s, who then sold some years later to Buildbase, as a builder's merchant. It ceased trading in December 2008, and since then the mill has been left derelict and fenced off. In 2009, Mansfield District Council initially wanted to turn the building into a heritage centre. The council failed to secure funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the mill was put on the market before being acquired by Germane Properties Ltd in 2014

    Since then it has suffered spates of vandalism attacks which have damaged some of its significant architectural features. Plans are afoot to re-use the site and old mill building and in 2017 an application was put forward in July to retain the structure and 18th century style of the site and convert it into a 50-bed care home and 32 assisted living apartments. Works will include repair and replacement of windows, alterations to brickwork, stone work and render - and minor alterations to the lower ground layout. HEB Chartered Surveyors estimated the cost of refurbishing the mill at just over £4.1m. The mill was previously Grade II Listed back in March 1994.

    A front elevation of the mill, circa 1950:

    20190410_215120 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    2. The Explore
    Explored with @tarkovsky after he suggested a look at the place following a few recent reports on 28DL. Rolling into Mansfield on a pretty dull evening we staked out the place. With the mill facing the main road and surrounded by a pretty solid palisade fence and a hefty amount of razor-wire we initially looked at a more round-the-houses way to get in. After that failed, we took the more obvious route which we’d initially discounted. Once in we found an entry point and started at the attic then worked our way down. The place isn’t too bad and most of the floors are reasonably solid. The mill is pretty much empty but bizarrely on the first floor there are a number of documents, accounts books and sales ledgers dating from around 1949-51 just on the floor. Overall, an enjoyable way to spend an hour or so. Let’s hope that the place gets saved and reused in some form or another.

    3. The Pictures

    The River Maun and some of that razor-wire mentioned earlier:

    img0156 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And round to the Front:

    img0184 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    So, in we went and straight up to the attic:

    Heritage 07 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Heritage 09 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Heritage 02 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Heritage 08 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0162 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Heritage 05 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    In places the roof is a bit iffy:

    Heritage 10 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Down to the second floor:

    Heritage 11 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Heritage 15 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Heritage 04 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Heritage 06 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Some of the paperwork:

    img0166 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    This receipt dates back to 1949:

    img0170 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Heritage 16 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Heritage 17 by HughieDW, on Flickr




    There’s a little bit of graff:

    img0171 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    A den but no dragons!

    img0174 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    First floor:

    Heritage 12 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0175 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And a few externals. Rear elevations:

    img0177 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0179 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Heritage 01 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0181bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Side elevation:

    Heritage 20 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Note unsightly modern addition at the front:

    img0183 by HughieDW, on Flickr
    Last edited by HughieD; 18th Apr 19 at 23:09.

  2. Thanks given by: Hugh Jorgan, KPUrban_, Mearing, ocelot397, psykie, Romford Reject, The Wombat, theartist
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  4. #2
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    Interesting report and a nice building. But two shillings and two pence icluding purchase tax for a building contract, how times have changed.
    When the going gets tough - the tough get going.

  5. Thanks given by: HughieD
  6. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Jorgan View Post
    Interesting report and a nice building. But two shillings and two pence icluding purchase tax for a building contract, how times have changed.
    Your two bob plus, got you a standardised form and a book of instructions on how to complete same. The wary could still involve their Solicitor should they so wish. Today; this no doubt will be solicitor driven from the start, due to the costs involved in such works.

  7. Thanks given by: Hugh Jorgan
  8. #4
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    looks a nice little explore
    Actually, I really like the 1st shot of the razor waterfall & razorwire.... beauty & pain in one!
    Black cat exploring company
    & LSD - Leicester Super Derpers

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