Octagon Mill 1920s - Copyright © NMRS Records

Octagon Mill 1920s – Copyright © NMRS Records

Arkengarthdale – NY 996036

Clough wrote that the Octagon mill was built by the Bathurst family in 1700, and Jennings believed that it was built in the first half of the eighteenth century. Tyson, however, demonstrated that the Octagon mill was built in 1803, and began smelting in the spring of 1804. The latter date was also given Dr Raistrick.

The mill’s internal layout has also become confused. For example, Dr Raistrick agreed with Clough’s reconstruction of the furnaces, which shows only four ore-hearths. Nevertheless, contemporary sources refer to six hearths and, Tyson notes that, “there were seven arched openings in the walls, giving direct access to the six hearths”. These flues, which were built with the mill, terminated at a chimney about 810 metres away. The Commissioners of the Greenwich Hospital built a long flue at the Langley mill in 1801, and this probably influenced the Easterby Hall company, which also had mines in Northumberland. The Octagon had the first truly long flue in Yorkshire, however, and the AD New mill’s flue was extended soon after.

The Octagon mill passed into the hands of the Arkindale and Derwent Mines Company in 1812. The latter company gave up the mines in 1821 and, for some unknown reason (probably relating to ownership of the Octagon mill or its site), the lessors undertook to build a new smelt mill within nine months of the new lessee (Jaques & Co.) taking over.

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