Updated 26 Jun 2007
WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900
Masson Mill weir, Matlock Bath
The weir is on the River Derwent, just upstream from Masson Mill
at Matlock Bath
Its pleasant shape may have been forced by the location of rocks
in the river bed.
The weir has a fall of 30 feet, and was built to channel water to
an overshot water wheel driving machinery in
Masson cotton Mill.
Masson Mill was Sir Richard Arkwright's third mill, built about
The water held back was also used in a nearby paper mill, built
before the cotton mill.
Water was channelled along a "leat" (just to the left of the weir)
to the waterwheel.
The weir was not liked when first built because it seemed "artificial"
and clashed with the beautiful scenery close to the Derwent.
The importance of water in the Derwent is indicated here:
"Water which powered the cotton mills was protected
by act of parliament so anyone wishing to extract upstream of the mills
had to comply with strict conditions with a heavy financial penalty if
they failed to do so. The conditions were that water could only be
removed from the Derwent between the hours of 8pm on Saturdays and 8pm
on Sundays and no more than one twentieth of the flow of the river in
any period of that time, and none at all if the flow was less than
570 tons per minute. The flow was measured at the weir behind Masson Mill,
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