Water management system comprising weir, mill race, mill dam and sluice gates associated with Rishworth Mill, mid C19.
Reason for Listing
The C19 mill dam, leats, weir and sluice gates south of Rishworth Mill, Ripponden, are designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Industrial context: as a water management system for a nearby listed mill, they form a significant part of the nationally significant textile industry of West Yorkshire
* Survival: there is a high level of survival of the sluice mechanism on two sluice gates, dam and water channels demonstrating a complete water management system
* Technological interest: the machinery of the sluice gates is of interest as an increasingly rare survival
* Group interest: the water system has group value with the listed cotton mill to the north which it served through the C19 and into the C20.
The mill dam and race at Rishworth is associated with the nearby mills. This was in existence by the mid C19, and the pond appears on the Ordnance Survey (OS) 1:10560 map of 1854. Two mills are marked on the map, both called Rishworth Mill, one for corn and the other for cotton, but the route of the mill race to the mills is not clear on this map. In 1864 a large new water wheel by Taylors of Marsden, considered at the time to be the largest in the world, was installed at Rishworth cotton mill. This remained in use, supplemented by twin beam engines and, later, by other steam engines, until 1948 after the mill was sold.
Maps from the late C19 onwards show the race and dam as they appear today, with the sluice gates and weirs at each end of the dam, and at the northern end of the race. These almost certainly date from the mid C19, possibly from the time of the installation of the new water wheel.
MATERIALS: stone lined channels, iron, wooden and stone sluice gates.
EXTERIOR: the feed for the mill dam is taken from Booth Dean Clough which runs approximately northwards to pass through the area of Rishworth Mill towards Ripponden. There is a weir on the stream from which a leat leads off to the east via a sluice mechanism with iron uprights and stone plates; only part of the winding mechanism remains. The leat runs through a narrow stone-lined channel to the south-eastern end of the mill dam. The dam, which is an elongated oval aligned south-east to north-west, has a stone-lined outlet at the northern end, and the remains of a wooden gate nearby. The outlet race runs north in a stone lined channel, towards a sluice gate that retains a wooden and iron winding mechanism with a ratchet and wheel. An overflow channel leaves the race half way along its west side to join the Booth Dean Clough where it runs alongside at a lower level. Beyond the top sluice the race runs underground, below Rishworth Mill Lane, towards the surviving mill buildings to the north.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.