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The Romping Lion
In the meantime, Daniel senior had started building a large new flax mill near the old one but he went bankrupt before it was completed. The unfinished mill together with other properties, the chain of mill dams and a Children’s Lodge were offered for sale. The lodge was intended to house 100 children, who would probably have been brought in to work at the new mill.

Somehow the Dakeynes succeeded in staying in business. Edward and James eventually replaced most of the old mill with a new three-storey flax mill. Four years later they invented their ‘Romping Lion’. It was used to drive machinery and occasionally to relieve the three water wheels.

A larger model was constructed to drain lead mines at Alport near Youlgreave.

After the death of James in 1862 two of his nephews managed the mill but within 20 years it had fallen into disuse. It was leased out for various purposes including the manufacture of lace, hemp twine and rabbit-skin goods. During the First World War the site became a training centre for the Leeds Rifles.

In 1924 the Ladygrove mill was bought by brothers Sydney and Ernest Johnson, flour millers. It is still owned by S. & E. Johnson Ltd and is used for the production of animal feeds.

Want to know more?
The Dakeyne Mill and its Romping Lion. P. Wigfull in: Wind and Water Mills number 16 1997
Industrial archaeology of Derbyshire F. Nixon 1969
History and gazetteer of the county of Derby vol. 1 p.354 S. Glover 1829
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