How will Oldknow’s legacy be revealed?

This is the start of an exciting journey. With the funding secured we can now start work on Revealing Oldknow’s Legacy. There are three main sites and there will be new interpretation to bring them all together.

Mellor Mill

Mellor Mill, once the largest spinning mill in the world employing hundreds of women and children, is now an archaeological site which has been taken over by nature. Volunteers have worked for three years to uncover the foundations of the mill, which was decimated by a fire in 1892. Now we can continue the dig and start to better understand this awesome mill and the lives of the local people who worked there. Three more years of archaeology, with help from volunteers, sensitive construction and new interpretation will transform this buried treasure into Mellor Mill Heritage Park, a country park within the grounds of the Roman Lakes. Visit to find out more.

Marple Aqueduct

Marple Aqueduct is a Grade 1 Listed, Scheduled Monument, which was saved from ruin in the 1970s by local people. Now in need of repair and conservation, we will make sure that it remains safe and that everyone can appreciate this incredible feat of engineering and understand its place in the fabric of local people’s lives. We’ll work to clear selected trees and create a better pathway and new viewing area. We also want to record people’s memories of the aqueduct, things they did there as children, and how it has changed within living memory.

Marple Lime Kilns

Oldknow’s Lime Kilns, are Scheduled Remains near top locks in Marple, and have been bricked up since the 1960s when they were declared unsafe. They are on English Heritage’s ‘At Risk Register’ We will investigate and survey the kilns, ecologists will explore the wildlife supported by them and we will tell people about their importance in Marple’s industrial past. They will also be the site for community archaeology digs, where anyone of any age can learn how to be an archaeologist. Look out for more about our forthcoming events and activities on this blog page.

Get involved

We are developing interpretation for these special sites: new and innovative ways of telling Oldknow’s story, connecting the parts of his legacy and the story of local people. We are also planning events and activities, a range volunteer opportunities, and work with schools and colleges to open up access to these magical places where the story of Oldknow and the role of Marple and Mellor in the Industrial Revolution will be brought to life.

Look out for more information on volunteering, activities and events in future posts.

Got a story about Marple Aqueduct, a love of the Lime Kilns or a burning desire to dig at Mellor Mill? Contact to find out how you can get involved.

Last date edited: 8 December 2014

About this blog

Revealing Oldknow’s Legacy: Mellor Mill and the Peak Forest Canal in Marple

Join us on an exciting journey around Samuel Oldknow's stomping ground, Mellor Mill and the Peak Forest Canal in Marple.

In 2014, Mellor Archaeological Trust and the Canal & River Trust joined forces to reveal Oldknow’s legacy. The three year project was designed to conserve and interpret Oldknow’s legacy through archaeology, learning and volunteering opportunities. 

Although now complete, you can still discover who Samuel Oldknow was and why he's a big deal? Read our blog posts to find out more.


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