Mill Lee

Mill Lee is a farmhouse at the head of Damflask Reservoir, Low Bradfield, and has been home to a number of different members and branches of my ancestors.

The first reference to the Sanderson family at Mill Lee, was 24th September 1751, and the baptism of Martha Sanderson, daughter of Jonathan of Mill Lee, at Bradfield Church. This was followed by the baptism of Jonathan 9th June 1754, Joseph 9th May 1758, and Mary 25th March 1759. Three days before Mary’s baptism, Jonathan (senior), was buried on 22nd March at Bradfield Church from Mill Lee.

At this point of our family history research, we did not know where Mill Lee was situated, or whether it even still existed. But following a visit to Bradfield in 2001, I noticed Mill Lee Road, and checking local maps, located Mill Lee Farm. On further visits, I was able to identify the building, on walking along the Damflask Reservoir pathway, (still a working farm).


Please note all these extracts have been summarised and only contain the main facts which might be of interest



I Joshua Hartley of Mill Lea Bottom Bradfield, Cutler, I give to my son William Hartley all my houses, barns, smallholdings, smithies, lands etc situated at Mill Lea Bottom. I devise to my son in law Joseph Sanderson my house at Nether Bradfield together with land etc. under the name of Gillott Fields and he is to pay rent to Joshua’ s wife (Mary Hartley). After death of Joseph, land etc to be divided equally between his children, Joseph Helliwell to have an equal share with the rest of the children of Joseph. Also I give and bequest to my daughter Martha Green £100. I also give and bequest to my son Jonathan Sanderson £100 after the death of my wife. I also give and bequest to my daughter Mary Bagshaw £100. Also to my daughter Elizabeth Thompson £100. I also bequest to my son Rowland Hartley £100. (Rowland Hartley is his eldest son and heir) I also bequest to my grandson William Howe £50 and grandson James Howe £50. I bequest to my son Rowland my pew seat in the church at Bradfield.

Executors to the will John Howe and Jonathan Thompson.

After all expenses rest of residue to be divided among the four children of Rowland (John Joshua Elizabeth George).


18 DECEMBER 1838

John Hartley (Rowland’s son) is making an agreement between himself and Mary Sanderson, Zaccariah Sanderson and Joseph Helliwell.

Indenture between George Sanderson and John Sanderson (cutlers) and Zaccariah Sanderson, & Joseph Helliwell (cutlers) and Mary Sanderson (spinster) and John Hartley. Repeats above will and speaks of Joseph dying in 1830, leaving sons George, John, Zaccariah and Mary & Joseph Helliwell who was born out of lawful wedlock but was directed to have an equal share. Rowland died in 1830 leaving son John as heir. George and John are selling their parts to Zachariah, Mary and Joseph Helliwell. John Hartley is giving up his right to this land so that Zachariah and others can take it on. Francis Hoole is a gentleman holding land as trustee on behalf of Zachariah, etc.

Dwelling and appurtenances, buildings and smithies and land in Nether Bradfield in occupation of John Sanderson, George Sanderson, William Wilson and Joseph Helliwell. The Mill Lee, The Upper Close, The Lower Close, The Croft, – Once in the occupation of Anna Hawksworth and then John Ibbotson but now in the tenure of Joseph Helliwell. These several closes also known as Gillott’ s Fields . Land bounded (eastward) by Adamson Parker, (westward) by William Tattershall, (northward) by ancient enclosures belonging to Joseph Sanderson and one Godfrey Jubb and (southward) by Damflask Road. Separated into three closes, House Field, Middle Field, Far Field, now in the occupation of Joseph Helliwell . Given to the use of Francis Hoole and his heirs. On 24 December 1838 the above was passed on to Joseph Ibbotson from Hoole and the Sandersons and Zaccariah and the rest were to lease it back from him.


Between Joseph Ibbotson of the first part and Henry Sanderson of Lower Bradfield, Cutler of the second part and the within named Zachariah who is a bachelor and Charles Sanderson cutler who was married to his present wife on 8th December 1863 at Ecclesfield church and the within named Mary Sanderson a spinster of the third part. Whereas the within named Henry Ibbotson made a will on 4th December 1857 whereby he invested all his property to Joseph Ibbotson (his son) and his said brother Richard Ibbotson (joint executors) and whereas the said Henry Ibbotson died on 15th December 1857 and the said Richard Ibbotson died on 2th July 1874 and was buried in the churchyard at Bradfield and whereas Joseph Helliwell made a will on 2th April 1868 and bequeathed to Charles Sanderson all his estate including his third of Gillotts Field with houses and shops. He also left £40 to Henry Sanderson – Zaccariah and Charles executors. Joseph Helliwell died 18 th February 1869.


Lump of land sold to Sheffield Waterworks by Zaccariah, Charles, Mary and Henry Sanderson.


Agreement listing fields, properties etc to be sold by Zaccariah Charles, Mary and Henry Sanderson to Thomas Rose


Joshua Sanderson, Farmer declares he is over 82 and Joseph Ibbotson states he is 60 and state their knowledge of the land awarded to Joseph at the enclosure. Also confirm that Zaccariah, Mary and Henry are not married and that Charles married in 1863 .


including cottage and wheelwrights shop in occupation of Emmanuel Sanderson (Low Bradfield surrounding Wesleyan Chapel)

In 1881 the Hoole Family are selling some of the land to Rose and the following are Solicitors Questions

Q Was the Farm Mill, Lee Close in the occupation of Emanuel Sanderson at the date of Mrs Hooles (Miss AC Tattershall before marriage) death.

A We were so instructed when we prepared the will

Document refers to a messuage sold on June 29 1719 by Jonathan Slack & Elizabeth; Thomas Wilkinson & Ann; and George Holmes to Joseph Hawksworth in Nether Bradfield and lived in by Joseph Bramhall. Also a House lived in by Jeremiah Terrier (or Ferrier).


I Joseph Sanderson,shopkeeper, was well acquainted with Joshua Hartley formerly of Mill Lee. He was the stepfather of Joseph Sanderson (the father of George John Zaccariah Mary and Joseph Helliwell). Joshua Hartley purchased from Joseph Jones of Rotherham about 1802 various messuages etc. called Gillotts Fields. Joshua died in the latter part of the year 1803 leaving surviving children Rowland his heir, William and two daughters. Rowland was married to Sarah Ibbotson in November 1790 and they lived together until the death of Rowland in January 1830. They had several children including John Hartley residing at Hill Foot (his eldest son and heir). Joseph took over two messuages and made them into four. Joseph died in February 1833. Joseph was married to Sarah Helliwell until she died in 1827. They had seven children George, John, Zaccariah, Mary and Joseph Helliwell and three others who died in infancy and on the death of Joseph his said children, including the said Joseph Helliwell entered into possession.

31stDecember 1817 Joseph Sanderson (Joshua Hartleys son) declares enclosure land

9th March 1826 Joseph Sanderson allotted land by Dam Flask Road in enclosure award

Following contact with a very distant relative researching the Dyson family, I discovered that my Dyson ancestors, had also lived at Mill Lee, before this, and prior to 1719.

To be continued…….