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Formerly known as Thurstonhaigh, the village got its current name from the construction of a grain mill powered by water from the dammed lake, thus the 'New mill on the dam". The mill still stands, though is nonoperational, and is privately owned. The mill was originally owned and operated by the Pashley family, who remained in the village until the 1980s. The Pashleys owned many local business through the centuries including a blacksmiths, coal mines and furniture making business. These furniture makers were also general carpenters and installed one of the first public toilets in the yard of The Three Houses Public House in 1852. The Pashley family were Methodists and provided large sums of finance to build two Chapels in the village. The Chapels are situated on School Hill, and on Barnsley Road. The Pashley reference is noted on these buildings by the dedication stones to William M Pashley.
Nearby stands Kettlethorpe Hall, built in 1727 built by the Pilkington family. It has been converted into two separate houses.
Chevet Hall, another nearby mansion stood on the site on an older hall to the east of Newmillerdam and was built in 1529 by the Neviles. The hall was demolished as a result of mining subsidence in the 1960s despite massive outcry from locals. In 1765 the hall and estate was acquired by the Pilkingtons who built the boathouse on the lake in 1820 in their private grounds. The Pilkingtons built lodges around their 2,340 acres (9.5 km2) private estate to deter poaches. Some of these survive. It was opened to the public after Wakefield Council bought the estate in 1954. The boathouse is a Grade II Listed building.
There was a Newmillerdam Colliery, close to the small village of Hall Green. This closed in 1981. As with many of the Wakefield collieries, closure in the 1980s was agreed with the NUM on the basis that the workers could transfer to the new Selby Coalfield.
Seckar Woods nature reserve, located near the more affluent village of Woolley is an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest).
- "Newmillerdam". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- "Map of Newmillerdam". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- Howard Colvin, Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840, 3rd ed. (Yale University Press) 1995: note p. 136. "the identity of its architect is unknown" but singles it out, with the east wing of Wentworth Castle by Johann von Bodt, as an "almost unique example of Franco-Prussian architecture in Georgian England".
- "A history of Newmillerdam". Wakefield Council. Archived from the original on 2013-01-11. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
Media related to Newmillerdam at Wikimedia Commons
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