|To the left of the cottages at Five Ashes, along Windmill Lane, there
now stands a nice garden with a new stone wall around it. The lawn marks
the spot where Kerridge windmill once stood (left). It is thought that
the mill was actually second hand and came from Macclesfield Common (see
panel below), part of Charles Roe's industrial complex, developed from
1758. A description of the copper works written in the 1790s mentions 'a
large windmill for grinding the ore.' The copper works closed in 1801,
but that windmill was converted to corn milling, and was in full use by
is thought that it was then dismantled, transported and re-assembled
at Kerridge in the 1830s. It is also thought that it was used at Kerridge
for milling corn although George Longden writes that he has seen no evidence
for this, or for any other use for that matter. It is thought to have
been erected at Kerridge probably by William Clayton who had by then
bought the Endon estate and built Endon Hall, and Endon House, as well
as Turret Cottages and the tower on Windmill
Lane, and was developing the estate in many ways.
top picture shows the mill with just two sails. This would be unusual,
and an older picture, c.1880 (left), shows it with the more normal four
sails. It isn't clear whether the mill was ever used with two sails,
or whether the mill was out of use when the top picture was taken in
the 1890s. In this lower picture, the sails appear to be without their
sail cloths, and this indicates that the mill may well be out of use.
This lower picture also shows that the head of the windmill could rotate
to face the wind - you can see the wheel on the back for winding the
head round on its track.
However, the windmill was out of use and abandoned by the early 1900s
(right). It fell into disrepair and became a ruin. During WWII the military
were looking for stone and other rubble to build airfield runways and
many of the derelict buildings in the Bollington district were carried
away to Burtonwood airfield, just by where M&S and IKEA are today
The site remained empty until the present garden was constructed in
the early years of the 21stC.
The design of the tower shown in an early 19th century print
of the Macclesfield windmill doesn't much resemble that of
the Kerridge windmill shown in old photographs. But we can't
be sure that no stone was transported. The curved stonework
of the tower would be expensive to make, not much use for
any other purpose, and perhaps not too expensive to transport
along the Macclesfield Canal, which ran from the Common to Clayton's
- Extracts taken from George Longden's Kerridge
Ridge & Ingersley Vale - an Historical Study for
the KRIV project.
- William Broster, Bollington and
Kerridge 1830 -1980. Available from the Discovery Center.
My thanks go to those who researched and discovered the history
that is presented in these pages. Please
read the full acknowledgement of their remarkable achievement.
Your Historic Documents
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