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Today 2014 the Mill is occupied by John Dobson comb-makers and specialist suppliers Click http:/​/​combs.​co.​uk/​ for further information

Near to the Mill is a plaque which says "The Mill was given in 1094 to St Mary's Abbey at York by Ivo de Taillbois. In 1460 William Booth Archbishop of York granted it to Heversham Church. Originally used for grinding corn, the mill later spun flax, hemp, wool and cotton."

'Built (re-built?) in the early 19thC Bela Mill ... manufactured twine, sacking and canvas. In 1866 it turned to comb-making.' Source: Industrial Archaeology of the Lake Counties M Davies-Shiel & JD Marshall 1969

There are also various references to horn and bone being supplied by local farmers and tortoise-shell is thought to have been imported via the port at Milnthorpe. A recent oral history interview with a former worker revealed that the mill still had bone-comb machines until just after the Second World War.
The record photos were produced especially for this Gallery and for the Natural Legacy Discovery Project (2014) in co-operation with John Dobson Ltd. To see Interactive Digital Discovery map for the area click https:/​/​maps.​google.​co.​uk/​maps/​ms?msid=214169920638360354198.​0004f2a19cd2c97066b55&​msa=0&​ll=54.​275048,​-​2.​79705&​spn=0.​152353,​0.​268822

The Mill once had a large bat colony, and otters still occur in the river today. KH

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Keywords:bela, combs, cumbria, duralon, john dobson, lake district, milnthorpe, rivers, watermills, waterwheels

HRS 1741 Milnthorpe Mill

HRS 1741 Milnthorpe Mill

HRS 1746 Milnthorpe Mill, John Dobson Comb Manufacturers

HRS 1746  Milnthorpe Mill, John Dobson Comb Manufacturers

HRS 6958 Milnthorpe Mill, Comb Mill waterwheel

HRS 6958 Milnthorpe Mill,  Comb Mill waterwheel

Milnthorpe Mill, Bela Mill staff c1897 Hessian and sack mill

Milnthorpe Mill,  Bela Mill staff c1897 Hessian and sack mill

Milnthorpe Mill, Horn being transported to the Mill 1908

Milnthorpe Mill, Horn being transported to the Mill 1908

Milnthorpe Mill, Comb-saw cutting machine

Milnthorpe Mill, Comb-saw cutting machine

Milnthorpe Mill, Injection moulding machine with operator

Milnthorpe Mill,  Injection moulding machine with operator

Milnthorpe Mill, Breaking combs from tree 2014

Milnthorpe Mill, Breaking combs from tree 2014

Milnthorpe Mill, Old combs, Langdale combs 1953

Milnthorpe Mill, Old combs, Langdale combs 1953

Milnthorpe Mill, White nit comb-tree close up 2014

Milnthorpe Mill,  White nit comb-tree close up 2014

Milnthorpe Mill, Old Combs, Bela brand comb card

Milnthorpe Mill,  Old Combs, Bela brand comb card

Milnthorpe Mill, Old Combs, Bela brand tortoise shell comb card

Milnthorpe Mill, Old Combs, Bela brand tortoise shell comb card

Milnthorpe Mill, Old Combs, Langdale combs close up

Milnthorpe Mill, Old Combs, Langdale combs close up

Milnthorpe Mill, Old Combs, Langdale combs

Milnthorpe Mill, Old Combs, Langdale combs

Milnthorpe Mill, Nit-comb sample mock tortoise-shell

Milnthorpe Mill,  Nit-comb sample mock tortoise-shell

Milnthorpe Mill, Old combs, Bela brand combs (various)

Milnthorpe Mill, Old combs, Bela brand combs (various)

Milnthorpe Mill, Old Melted comb

Milnthorpe Mill, Old Melted comb

Milnthorpe Mill, Old Horn combs Foreign

Milnthorpe Mill,  Old Horn combs Foreign

Milnthorpe Mill, Old Horn comb close-up of cut teeth

Milnthorpe Mill,  Old Horn comb close-up of cut teeth

Milnthorpe Mill, Blue comb 2014

Milnthorpe Mill,  Blue comb 2014