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HER Number:MDV834
Name:Derby Lace Factory, Barnstaple


Former lace factory, now used for storage. Bult in 1825, with additions in 1874 and later. Fire-damaged in 1972. The centrepiece of the 19th century development in this part of Barnstaple.


Grid Reference:SS 561 336
Map Sheet:SS53SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBarnstaple
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBARNSTAPLE

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • North Devon District Council Rescue Archaeology Unit Site Code: ND137
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS53SE/75
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SS53SE63

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • LACE FACTORY (XIX to XXI - 1825 AD to 2009 AD (Between))

Full description

Wood, J., 1843, Plan of the Town of Barnstaple from Actual Survey (Cartographic). SDV91852.

Derby Lace Factory recorded on plan of 1843.

Ordnance Survey, 1855-1895, Towns 1855-95 1:500 (Cartographic). SDV348147.

Lace Factory marked on 1855-95 1:500 town map.

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

Lace Factory marked on 1880s-1890s 25inch Ordnance Survey map.

Harpley, W., 1891, Report of the Council, 18 (Article in Serial). SDV360880.

Derby Lace Factory of Messrs. Miller Brothers. Unique Machinery.

Ordnance Survey, 1930 - 1939, Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV336668.

Derby Works (Lace) marked on 1930s 25 inch Ordnance Survey map.

Bone, M., 1973, Barnstaple's Industrial Archaeology, 20 (Monograph). SDV78228.

Minchinton, W. E., 1976, Industrial Archaeology in Devon, 18 (Monograph). SDV7016.

Standing Building Survey and Oral History of Derby Works, Vicarage Street

North Devon District Council Rescue Archaeology Unit, 1991, North Devon Archaeological Site Code Index, Site Code ND137 (Report - non-specific). SDV63429.

Building survey and oral history of Derby Works, Vicarage Street undertaken in 1987.

University of the Third Age, 1995, Watermills in North Devon 1994, 94 (Monograph). SDV74915.

The building is sound, with a shaft for an undershot wheel still in position and the old wheel supports on the mill leat. The wheel and machinery were demolished in 1951, it is not known when the mill was last used. It is reported that the building was purpose built as a tucking mill around 1820. Its use was changed around 1903. Alterations such as the blocking of the mill entrances are obvious. Documents in the Barnstaple reference library refer to there being a large wooden waterwheel. Water is diverted from the yeo near the weir, up river. The wide leat flows under the drive to the mill building and is now used by ducks.

Ordnance Survey, 2012, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV348725.

Factory now much expanded in size to the north.

English Heritage, 2012, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV348729.

Derby Lace Works, S & T Barnstaple, Vicarage Street.
Lace factory, now used for storage. 1825 (old list description). Built for John Boden, `additions of 1874 and later' (Pevsner), fire-damaged in 1972 (Pevsner). Painted English bond brick; slate roof behind parapet. Large rectangular building, part of an industrial complex. Originally 4 storeys, partly reduced to 3 storeys after the 1972 fire. Regular 12-bay front, the 3 left-hand bays 4-storey. Segmental-headed windows glazed with 3-light 20th century casements. Ground floor right has round-headed doorway to the right with 3 orders to the architrave, keyblock and pilastered jambs. Second doorway, probably converted from window in the 4th and 5th bay from the right. The 4-storey section at the left has one ground and one first-floor doorway and a second-floor loft doorway converted from a window. This section of the factory has an external iron staircase on fancy cast-iron brackets. Stack with cylindrical shaft at left end.
Interior: fireproof construction with cast-iron columns and shallow brick vaulting arches.
Historical Note: the factory was lit by a cupola before the fire of 1972. The Derby Lace Works were opened in 1825 by Boden, who had been a partner of John Heathcoat of Tiverton. By 1830 the Derby Lace Works were employing 1,000 people and the surrounding terraced housing was built for the workers. Included for historic interest as the centrepiece of the 19th century development in this part of Barnstaple, in spite of the fire damage,

Southwest Archaeology, 2013, Greater Barnstaple Area Project Database, Mapping Area 166 (Un-published). SDV351581.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Unknown, SS53SE63 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV77531.

The Derby Lace Works, now owned by Small & Tidman, is a fine four storey 19th century factory building.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #108382 ]
SDV336668Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1930 - 1939. Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV348147Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1855-1895. Towns 1855-95 1:500. Towns 1855-95 1:500. Digital.
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
SDV348729National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2012. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV351581Un-published: Southwest Archaeology. 2013. Greater Barnstaple Area Project Database. Greater Barnstaple Area Project. Digital. Mapping Area 166.
SDV360880Article in Serial: Harpley, W.. 1891. Report of the Council. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 23. Digital. 18.
SDV63429Report - non-specific: North Devon District Council Rescue Archaeology Unit. 1991. North Devon Archaeological Site Code Index. North Devon District Council Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. Site Code ND137.
SDV7016Monograph: Minchinton, W. E.. 1976. Industrial Archaeology in Devon. Industrial Archaeology in Devon. Paperback Volume. 18.
SDV74915Monograph: University of the Third Age. 1995. Watermills in North Devon 1994. Watermills in North Devon 1994. A5 Paperback. 94.
SDV77531Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Unknown. SS53SE63. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV78228Monograph: Bone, M.. 1973. Barnstaple's Industrial Archaeology. Barnstaple's Industrial Archaeology. A5 Paperback. 20.
SDV91852Cartographic: Wood, J.. 1843. Plan of the Town of Barnstaple from Actual Survey. Unknown.

Associated Monuments

MDV43954Related to: Higher and Lower Maudlin Streets, Barnstaple (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jul 23 2021 8:35AM