Middleton Tyas – NZ 234059

There were four partners: Lady D’Arcy, John Hutton, John Yorke and Andrew Wilkinson, of which Hutton and Yorke were Lady D’Arcy’s sons-in-law. Their agent, from 1742 to 1767, was Ralph Hutchinson, and their mines, in fields called South Mains and North Layberry’s, were centred on Cow Lane. This was all land owned by the Shuttleworth family.

In 1744, the partners spent £107.75 on building a smelt mill and were refining copper by 1746. In 1754, however, the partners let their mill on lease to John Rotton at an annual rent of £10, which he paid until at least 1767. All the evidence suggests that the partners’ mill was the one at the southern end of South Mains, off Cow Lane. For example, according to Hornshaw, the slag found there, unlike that found elsewhere, is black, hard and contains very little residual copper. This suggests that it was from a refinery. We also know that Robert Shuttleworth, who worked his own and the Glebe mines, was smelting and refining copper between 1774 and 1780.

The partners’ accounts refer to blasting ‘furnace holes’, which were usual for the ash pit and underneath the furnace sole. They were obviously cut into the rock and may well still be there, but more fieldwork needs to be done in this area.

Further information and references can be found in:

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