The Windmill and the Copper Works

The windmill, which gives the street its name, appeared as a result of the development of the copper works which sprawled out across the area of the tip field and to either side of it. Charles Roe, whose name is stamped throughout the town, started the works in 1758. While some ore came from local mines at Alderley Edge, most of it came from a mine he found on Anglesey, shipped in via Liverpool.

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The windmill, located next to the street opposite the church, was built to grind the ore before smelting. Copper Street may get its name from the factory, and certainly calamine, used in the process, gave its name to Calamine street. Although local coal was still being mined (Brookfield Lane’s earlier name – Coalpit Lane – reflects the location of some of the mines) the quality of the coal was not good enough for the smelters so the copper works imported its coal, as well as its ore.

By the time of Charles Roe’s death in 1781 the copper works had almost finished its operations. The windmill itself was adapted to grind grain, and then later taken down and moved to Kerridge, where it survived until the Second World War, when it was demolished and the stone used as hardcore for an airstrip.

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