Mosty Lea Mill
Mosty Lea Mill at Kibblestone, near Stone in Staffordshire is the only remaining flint mill in the Moddershall Valley which is still in full working order. The mill, which is around 300 years old was an integral part in the early pottery industry.
Mosty Lea Mill is a hidden gem in the Staffordshire countryside. It's stood in the Moddershall Valley, at Kibblestone, near Stone, for more than 300 years.
There's no definite date on when it was actually built, but local historians believe it was around long before 1716. That was when Stephen Townsend, a dyer from Stafford, bought the site for use as a fulling mill, to make clothing.
It was in 1756, that it was converted to grind flint and bone for the pottery industry by John and Ralph Baddeley, who ran the Broad Street Works, in Hanley.
The flint was ground down to be used to produce tableware. It helped strengthen the plates and cups, making them bright and white. The ground up powder also helped in the firing process.
The flint came from the south coast of Britain and sometimes even Brittany in France. It was transported by boat up the North Sea and along the River Trent. It was then brought by barge along the Trent and Mersey canal, before being carried to the mill by packhorse.
Mosty Lea Mill ceased production in the mid 1960s, and fell into a state of disrepair. In recent history it's ownership has been handed over by the local scouts as it's on the land of Kibblestone camp. The mill runs as a charity, and is maintained by a group of retired engineers called the 'Friends of Mosty Lea Mill'.
Mosty Lea Mill is one of 17 mills that used to stand in the Moddershall Valley, producing things from paper to gunpowder. Many of them have either been knocked down or converted into houses.
Mosty Lea is the only remaining one where all the processes involved in grinding can still be seen, along with its giant water wheel, pit wheel, gears and grinding pan.
The 'friends' open the mill for people to have a look around on the first Wednesday of every month. There are also annual heritage days where you can have a guided tour. For more details about open days see the official site - the link is on the right hand side of this page.
last updated: 08/07/2009 at 14:37