In September 2009 the Mellor Archaeological Trust carried out an excavation at Knowle Farm in Mellor. The excavation was on the site of an anomaly detected during a magnetometry survey performed by the Trust in 2007. The excavation revealed the substantial remains of what appears to be a Lime Kiln. The remains consisted of a stone built, oval, ‘Pot’ measuring 2.75 m by 2.50 m and 2.76 m deep.
At its base on its west side the Pot had an opening, the Eye, from which ran a 3.5 m stone lined flue. There was no direct dating evidence for the structure however indirect evidence suggests two equally probable dates. High grain prices during the Napoleonic wars and the arrival of the Peak Forest canal at Marple in 1796 point to a construction date around 1800 while the map evidence tends to suggest a date sometime between 1836 and 1886. After recording the kiln was backfilled the ground reinstated and a large ‘gate post’ stone removed during excavation positioned over the centre of the Pot.
The Buildings of Mellor
Post-holes in the Old Vicarage garden are the remains of a medieval hall dating from around 1100. The Church tower dates from the 1400s and parts of some of the old farmhouses and barns from the 1500s. The Georgian front and barns of Mellor Hall were built around 1600/ The coming of the textiles mills from 1785 led to extensive building. The mills have gone, but the chapels and worker's terraced cottages remain. The coming of the railway to Marple led to a profusion of "suburban" housing in various styles, which still continues with infilling.
During the Mellor Heritage Project 2007-9, a group of volunteers led by Dr Faith Cleverdon carried out detailed surveys of several of the older houses. A more challenge activity was a survey of around 300 houses from Moorend and down longhurst lane to Marple Bridge. The fronts of all the houses were photographed, special features noted and reports supported by historical information. An exhibition held in 2011 attracted a crowd of visitors.
The results of these surveys are described in the book, Mellor Through the Ages – times of importance and times of obscurity, and full reports will be put on the website in due course. Surveys will continue to be carried out.