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 Post subject: Catlow Bottoms Mill
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:44 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 12:27 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Barrowford
Further to information in topic Sagars of Catlow . . .

As an illustration of the vaue of local history sites such as this - around the beginning of August 2012 Mel posted a press cutting relating to the Sagars of Catlow. An almost throwaway line in the cutting mentioned a water powered fulling mill at Catlow Bottoms

Fortunately I had finished a project only the previous week and was able to devote my full attention to the mill: this started a process which saw an archaeological assessment of the mill site and the publication of a report.

It is clear from the work carried out that this quiet area of Catlow Bottoms (which lies a matter of metres within the parish of Briercliffe) belies its Early Modern past.

The mill site occupies a formerly very popular beauty spot where many thousands of people have passed their leisure time on summer weekends. Little did they realise that had they set up their picnics during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries they would have been choked by the stench of the stale urine (lant) used in the fulling process and the acrid fumes of chemicals employed in cloth dying. They would also have been deafened by the constant thumping of the mill as the fulling hammers pounded the woollen pieces.

Above the mill site (in the area around Stepping Stones Cottage) it is very probable that the mill lodge was situated - this was formerly where the ancient track through Catlow Bottoms ran before turning southward to Burwains Farm. In other words, the area looks very different now to how it would have appeared 3 or 4 centuries ago.

If any member of the site requires a copy of the excavation report (for their own personal use) please email me.

John Clayton
Barrowford


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 Post subject: Re: Catlow Bottoms Mill
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:37 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:19 pm
Posts: 13
Well done on completing the Rapid Archaelogical report in such a short space of time John. The whole report from start to finish is absolutely brilliant and goes a long way to building a much clearer picture of life in our locality all those centuries ago.

On behalf of everyone concerned, I would like to thank you for rescuing the site of the once lost Fulling Mill, one that almost certainly would have been one of the very last to be used in Lancashire. Without this, it would most certainly have been destined to the dusty vaults of the archaelogical wilderness forever.


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 Post subject: Re: Catlow Bottoms Mill
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:52 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 12:27 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Barrowford
Thanks Dave - I have been doing some further research on the site, and the cottages above. It appears that I'll have to do a bit of tweeking on the report regarding the peripheries but I think that the mill configuration is good. Just found that the stream from Burwains (the feed for the mill) was split in two.

There is a photo on the site under Catlow showing a group of men at the point where the stream fords the road and, on the original, there is clearly a stone culvert directing water under the road to what I have suggested was the water wheel site. The stream is also running free above the road hence the waterfall has two streams.

This strongly suggests that the there were two distinct columns of water - one as a leat running beneath the road and the other the undiverted stream into which the tailrace exhausted. A very difficult site with many secrets yet to give up!


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