Ruins of Gilling Mill
Copyright © Mick Garratt and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Gilling – NZ 159057

This mill, in the manor of Gilling not Ravensworth, was near the boundary with Whashton, where Lead Mill Lane crosses Smelt Mill Beck.

It was built by Humphrey Wharton, who was Lord of the manor of Gilling and lessee of the Grinton and Fremington mines from 1628 to 1649. There is no evidence that Thomas Wharton had any involvement with Gilling mill.

Humphrey Wharton reserved the mill and a nearby wood when he apparently mortgaged his estates to Ronald Graham in 1658. Moreover, the following Exchequer Deposition, made in 1697, suggests that he was still the owner.

“Thomas Pearson of Gilling, who worked at the mill there, knew James Crathorne and Clement Chamber who worked for Humphrey Wharton. Wharton sent his lead there and he often heard his master at the mill say Grinton had the best lead brought to the mill”

The date of closure remains to be proved, but it was early in the eighteenth century. Until the 1750’s, at least, lead from the AD mills was shipped via a store at Hartford to Stockton. Dr Raistrick believed that Gilling smelt mill was used as that store but the author has been unable to substantiate this. This leaves us with the question of the locations of Captain Robinson’s mill and Sir Thomas’s high and low hearths which, it will be shown were at Whashton.

Further information and references can be found in:

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