Seascale Mill, Seascale: Interpretation Board

Seascale Mill, Seascale, Cumbria: Interpretation Board

Greenlane Archaeology was commissioned to produce an interpretation board for Seascale Mill, entitled ‘Seascale Mill – serving the manor of Newton and Seascale since the 18th century’. The origins of the mill are uncertain: the earliest reference to it is probably in a letter dated 6th October 1726 from John Senhouse to Sir William Pennington at Muncaster, which refers to a dispute over repairs to a mill at Seascale which is described as stone built and slate roofed. It is apparent that the mill referred to was part of the estates which formed the manor of Newton and Seascale, although it is difficult to be certain if the letter is referring to this site. The Newton and Seascale estate originated in at least the 13th century, so it is possible that a mill existed on the site from the medieval period, although the majority of the available evidence is from the 19th century, and it is noteworthy that the watercourse that fed the mill is called ‘Newmill Beck’. It is located within an ancient landscape, with the nearby stone circle known as Grey Croft probably constructed in the Bronze Age. It was excavated in 1949 and largely reconstructed at that time.

The mill is not shown on early maps of the area. It is first shown on the Ordnance Survey map of c.1860, which shows the route of the mill race and the location of the mill buildings. By this time two buildings are marked at the site, which is described as a corn mill. The one to the north-west is aligned approximately north/south along the side the mill race and is clearly the mill itself. The other building is evidently the mill house and while later maps show some internal divisions the footprint of these two buildings remained unchanged until at least the end of the 19th century.

Trade directories and census information show that the mill house was occupied by various people throughout the 19th century and Seascale Mill is stated to have been one of only two still working in the area in 1893.