Middleton Tyas – NZ 229059

Leonard Hardey was a local landowner, whose copper deposits were worked under lease from 1736 onwards. By the 1750’s, the mines were worked by his son, George, and his nephew, who was also called Leonard. The principal Hartley mines were just off the northern boundary of Middleton Tyas church, and were worked by their agent, John Ayre, from 1762 to 1766.

Hartley’s smelt mill was built in 1754 and cost £40. Again, there is doubt about its location. A document in the parish bundle, however, records the later acquisition by the parson of the area east of the Rookery, including Smelt Mill House, which he exchanged with George Hartley for another field. This suggests, therefore, that Hartley’s mill was the one in the village. It was still working in 1784.

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