Cobscar Mill 1973 – Copyright © NMRS Records

Preston under Scar – SE 059920

James Plews leased Cobscar Rake and built this mill a little before 1762. In 1823, however, it was noted that: “the mines here are nearly exhausted but calamine and coals is produced in great plenty”. It is likely, therefore, that the first Cobscar mill closed just before or during the slump of 1830-31, and it is shown as ‘Old Smelt Mill’ on the first edition O.S. 1/10560 sheet, of 1854.

Nevertheless, a stone dated 1848 (see Clough), above the door leading to the roasting hearth, records when Lord Bolton had Cobscar mill refurbished, and a flue added, in order to replace the Apedale mill. Cobscar mill is also shown on a plan of Lord Bolton’s mines dated May 1851.

The date of closure is problematic but, besides the neighbouring mines, the mill probably served others in Lord Bolton’s liberties. Of these mines, Bolton Park worked until 1870; Wet Groves until 1879; and Apedale mine until 1896, all in a small way. Clough suggested that the mill closed about 1890.

Further to the mention of calamine above, a building on Cobscar Rake, at NGR SE 051920, was described as a smithy in 1762, but was marked as “Calamine House”, on the May 1851 plan. Its ruined walls are now used as a sheepfold.

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