Havannah Village – One Site, Many Uses
The area surrounding Havannah Lane and the bridge over the river Dane has seen many uses over the centuries. Today the Dane Valley Community Energy project shares the space with private housing, access roads and a floodplain meadow.
The Archimedes Screw started generating electricity in 2022 but water from the Dane had been powering industry here since 1762. The map shows where some of these installations once were. (Click to enlarge).
The mills of Havannah produced a variety of goods including brass wire and cigars! All thanks to the Macclesfield industrialist Mr Charles Row, the original developer of the site.
In 1762 Charles Roe leased land from Eaton Hall and built two mills after gaining permission to use the river’s power, first for rolling copper sheet and brass wire, then for grinding corn. The mills used water wheels, driven by dammed and diverted water. In 1801, the site is recorded to have had “five waterwheels from 18 feet to 25 feet diameter with the head and fall of 13 feet 3 inch and the whole of the River Dane for supply”. This head accords with that provided by the existing weir, a Grade 2 listed structure, which forms an integral part of the new hydro scheme, suggesting that it may date from the earliest use of the site. However, the presence of concrete within the structure indicates that the weir itself may have been rebuilt, or at least significantly modified, in the years since 1762!
In 1780 Roe built a stone bridge over the Dane. (more details in pamphlet “Havannah Village” by BOON from Congleton Musem).
Around 1830 two more mills (The Windsor Mills) were built south of the bridge. The mills used water power for grinding corn (Herdman then Spragg 1850s). They were then used for silk manufacture (Tootal), for fustian cutting and processing and finally as a cigar rolling factory (1899 Andiamio).
Bosley reservoir (feeder for Macclesfield canal) overflowed in 1872, flooding Havannah and damaging the mills. The Mills were rebuilt in 1881. The new works also had a boiler and a prominent 100-foot chimney.