Holcombe Moor Heritage Group

Local History on the edge of the West Pennine Moors

HMHG logo



The Search for Bottoms Mill


The existence of Bottoms Mill was first recorded in 1780 and we know it stood until around 1905. However, until the Summer of 2010 its exact location was unknown.


Once we had stumbled across Bottoms Mill we organised a day for examining the site and recording it, followed by a geophysical survey and a flora survey.


A series of test pits were dug over the weekend of October 30th & 31st 2010 by volunteers of the Holcombe Moor Heritage Group.


We returned in 2013 and 3014 to dig some more - what a site!


We are currently digging throughout 2016 at

Bottoms Mill to answer some of the questions.

Cinderhill2 working

Cinderhill Farm

Bottoms Mill

Geophys HMHG

Geophysics on the mill site

The mill is in the trees

PLEASE NOTE - The MoD site is NOT a Public Access area and these sites are not open to the public. The MoD site has many dangerous hazards and should not be accessed without permission. However, a public footpath does run close by all the sites and you can view them from there.

HMHG have so far taken part in four excavations:

Cinderhill farm, Bottoms Mill and Holcombe Head Farm and Dover Chapel - Details of each can be found by following the links on this page.


Only the first dig, at Cinderhill Farm, was performed under the watchful eye of Greater Manchester Archaeology Unit. All subsequent activities have been independent HMHG digs.


However, we work closely with the MoD Archaeologist, Phil Abrahamson, and try to follow the CBA's best practice during all our work. We aim to carefully record and preserve the archaeology of the moor for future generations.

Holcombe Head Farm

Holcombe Head 6 (960x1280)


Dover Chapel - Greenmount Village

DC 5 (640x423) Dover Chapel finds DC 8 (360x640) P1000494

In 2017 we are continuing the exciting work we did at the site of

Bottoms Mill during 2013 and 2014, 2015 & 2016

This is proving to be an exceptional site - see our photos and Dig Diaries below.  

2017 dig dates: (updated 17-04-17)


March 25th/26th  & 30th


April 6th,13th, 27th & 29th/30th


May 4th, 13th/14th, 18th & 25th


June 1st, 8th, 15th, 17th/18th, 22nd, 29th


July  20th, 27th 29th/30th


August 3rd, 10th, 17th, 19th/20th, 24th, 31st


September 9th/10th, 14th, 21st & 28th


October 5th, 12th, 19th, 21st/22nd & 26th

Contact Us for more information about how YOU could get inolved on one of our digs - no experience necessary.


It's not all digging you know?

Maybe you would prefer to record or draw or measure or clean finds or do some Landscape Archaeology?