Keys to the Past

Allen Smelt Mill, flue systems and chimney (Allendale)

Allen Smelt Mill chimney. Photo by Northumberland County Council.
Allen Smelt Mill chimney. Photo by Northumberland County Council.

Allen Smelt Mill Flues. Photo by Northumberland County Council.
Allen Smelt Mill Flues. Photo by Northumberland County Council.

Allen Lead Smelt Mill was operating as early as 1692 when it was owned by the Bacon family. In the 18th century it was leased from Sir William Blackett by Lancelot Algood. From 1786 the mill was owned by the Beaumont Company which carried out improvements and extensions to the smelt mill. Long horizontal flues were added in 1808 and between 1845 and 1850. The smelt mill finally ended production in 1896.

Although much of the smelt mill has been demolished, remains of several stone structures survive, including a series of bouse teams, condensing chamber, flue opening and a silver smelter. The flue system is extensive and was built to condense the noxious fumes produced from the furnaces. The deposits that formed on the internal walls of the flues were removed periodically for their lead and silver content, via doorways in the flue wall. The flues survive as long mounds up to 8m wide and standing up to 2m high, but where they have collapsed they appear as ditches 2m wide. Three of the flues can be followed for two to three miles (3.5km) onto open moorland at Flow Moss where they end at two chimneys. This flue system is one of the best preserved in England. This is a Scheduled Monument protected by law.

Reference number:N7293
Historical period: Post Medieval (1540 to 1901)
Legal status:Scheduled Ancient Monument
Event(s):DESK BASED ASSESSMENT, The Allen Smelt Mill. Heritage assessment: preliminary conservation and archaeology report 2006; C Bacon

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See also:
Source of Reference
Local History of Allendale


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Please note that this information has been compiled from a number of different sources. Durham County Council and Northumberland County Council can accept no responsibility for any inaccuracy contained therein. If you wish to use/copy any of the images, please ensure that you read the Copyright information provided.