Glossop Heritage Trust

Further Notes on the Mills of Glossopdale.

Working out which mill is which and when different events occurred is sometimes difficult. In some cases the same people tenanted/owned different mills at different times and in others people of the same name (sometimes brothers) were working separate mills in parallel with each other. Mills in different locations had the same, or similar, names and as time went on some became parts of larger enterprises.

There are other articles and sketch maps on this web site which provide an outline of the ways in which industry developed in Glossopdale. These notes are based mainly on the information documented by Robert Hamnett, together with extracts from trade directories and research into the families which have lived in Glossopdale for hundreds of years. They aim to augment the earlier articles by reference to individual mills but not to be a definitive history.

As most of the mills were built alongside water courses (to take advantage of water power) it seems appropriate to follow the same order as on the page The Mills in Glossopdale by Geographical Location. In some cases the details given by trade directories and other sources conflict for particular years. This is probably because of a change at that time, the data for the directory being gathered in advance of publication (as is still the case with printed directories today).

Hurst Brook.

Hurst Mill was built between 1799 and 1802 by Robert Atherton. John Kershaw was owner and occupier in 1811 Pigot's directory of 1824/5 lists it as occupied by John Kershaw, cotton spinner. John Kershaw was in partnership with his brother James, and the partnership was dissolved by mutual consent on the 14th July 1826. He continued the business until 1831, when he was succeeded by his son John. The various directory entries (up to White's directory of 1857) list John Kershaw at Hurst without distinguishing between father and son. John Kershaw junior died 4th December 1861 and the mill then came into the possession of Frederic Buckley, who is listed in White's directory of 1862. Buckley rebuilt the mill and worked it until he suffered disastrous financial losses by the burning and destruction of cotton belonging to him, and uninsured, at the bombardment of Alexandria. Kelly's directory of 1891 has James Rowbottom using the mill for cotton spinning. Later directories show that he added the manufacture of rope, twine and cotton banding. Rowbottom expanded his business by working Holehouse mills at Charlesworth in addition to Hurst.

Cowbrook Mill was built in 1801 by William Hadfield whose family came from Wash, Chapel en le Frith but had lived in Padfield for a number of years. It does not appear that he was related to John Hadfield of Cowbrook who died in 1799. The mill stayed in the same family until it closed in 1898. William Hadfield died on 22 June 1843 and the mill was then taken on by his only surviving son John. It would appear that John may have already been managing the mill as he is named in Pigot's directory of 1842 rather than William. John Hadfield died on 22 June 1876 and (even though trade directories continue to name John) running of the mill was taken over by his elder son, Joshua Henry Hadfield rather than his younger son John (who was a Commission Agent living in Buxton when he died in 1888, apparently the black sheep of the family). The contents of Cowbrook Mill (machinery and stock) were auctioned on 11th May 1898. Hamnett, writing in 1913/14, said that the mill was then owned by Edward Platt, Esq., of Mersey Bank, but had not been in use as a cotton mill for many years.

Cross Cliffe Mill. This is another source of confusion for those relying on Hamnett's notes. In an article published in the Glossop Chronicle on 28 November 1913 he described it as “Whitfield Lower Mill” (which was on Glossop Brook, see below). That article goes on to say that the mill was built by John Newton, of Whitfield, who obtained a lease of land 24th November, 1782, he assigned it to Abraham Shaw on the 28th January, 1815, and it eventually came into the possession of of William Hadfield, farmer, of Whitfield, who worked it until his death. Hamnet then implies (wrongly) that William Hadfield was part of the family which lived at Lees Hall and built Charlestown Mill and Primrose Mill.
An earlier Hamnett article, published on 4 December 1903, says "Cross Cliffe came into the hands of the Hadfield family. The mill was originally known as Hadfield's Mill, then Cross Cliffe Mill, and nick-named "Shoddy Bump Mill." It was burned down on the 2nd June 1868.". That explanation tallies with an indenture dated 31st July 1819, which refers to "all that Cotton Mill or Factory with the Stable or Shippon lately erected and built by the said William Hadfield upon the said close field or parcel of land called the Lower Kiln Croft" - meaning that William Hadfield either built or rebuilt the mill after he bought the land, as recorded in another indenture (which makes no mention of a mill) dated 11th October 1810. A further indenture, dated 24th June 1825, refers to William Hadfield building Cross Cliffe mill. The plan to the right shows the site of the mill in 1825.
The will of William Hadfield, signed 10 February 1817, says “I Give and Devise all that my Cotton Mill or Factory situate standing and being at Crosscliffe aforesaid with all and singular the Rights Members and Appurtenances to the same belonging unto my said four sons John Robert James and Joseph Hadfield.”; Codicil 1/10/1819 - “And it is my mind that the improvement I am making to my Cotton Mill at Crosscliffe within Whitfield aforesaid shall be finished by my Executors and the Bargain I have made for the same with Benjamin Wilkinson of Glossop aforesaid Millwright be duly executed”. Probate of the will was granted in February 1820.
According to Hamnett, in 1824 the mill was being worked by John Rusby and in 1832 it was John Rusby and Isaac Linney. The indenture of 24th June 1825 identified John Rusby as being tenant at the time, the mill being sold by the four Hadfield brothers to John Rusby and Isaac Linney as recorded in an indenture dated four days later.
Hamnett tells us that John Rusby retired in 1840, and it was then worked solely by Isaac Linney. Hamnett also says that in 1846 the owners were Milburn and Roberts but Bagshaw's directory of 1846 lists Isaac Linney as working Cross Cliffe. White's directory of 1862 lists Joseph Brocklehurst & Co. The mill burned down in 1868.

The Book of Glossop states "On 24 November 1782 John Newton, described as a labourer of Whitfield, took out a lease from the Lord of the Manor to build a mill at Cross Cliffe. If this mill was completed and came into operation in 1783, it was the first, purpose-built, cotton spinning mill to be built in Glossopdale. It was never large or important and was burnt down in 1868, rebuilt, and demolished in 1902, by which time it was part of the Wood's Mill complex at Howardtown. ". But was this Cross Cliffe Mill or not? It is certainly open to question. When Cross Cliffe Mill is marked on maps it is on the Whitfield side of Hurst Brook, land which was not owned by the Howards but (as supported by the indentures mentioned above) was part of the Bagshaw Estate which included much of Whitfield. If Newton's mill was "part of the Wood's Mill complex at Howardtown" when it was demolished in 1902, perhaps it was the small building(s) shown just north of the bridge on the 1825 plan.
Cross Cliffe Mill site 1825

The Grove Mill or Silk Mill. Hamnett tells us that this mill was built by Robert Shepley, of Shepley Street, and worked as a cotton mill by Benjamin Wilkinson, the person who taught Francis Sumner about cotton spinning. Baines directory of 1825 records Benjamin Wilkinson as working the mill at that time, and Pigot 1824/5 lists him as a spinner without naming the mill, but Hamnett also says that it was in 1825 that it became a silk mill, the occupiers being Messrs. James Bosley, Smith, Bosley and Co., manufacturers of silk ribbons, etc. Pigot's directories of 1828/9 and 1835 record Bosley, Smith and Bosley (silk). Hamnett wrote that the mill was empty in 1840 and for some years after but in 1846 William Walker was there as a cotton spinner and the last tenant was Samuel Rowbottom, the mill being burned down during his tenancy in the early 1870s.

Blackshaw Clough and Shelf Brook.

Map of the Mills at Old Glossop in the 1860s

Map of the Mills at Old Glossop in the 1860s


Rolfe’s Mill. It is in connection with Rolfe's (or Rolph's) Mill that some confusion can arise when reading Hamnett's notes. The mill was built in 1784 by William Sheppard in Wesley street (formerly Brookside), the lease for the land being dated 1st October 1784. The building, next to number 20 Wesley Street (built later), has a plaque on the wall containing Sheppard's initials and the date. The house that stands at a right angle to the others, was the warehouse. Benjamin Rolfe was the first tenant but confusion can arise because the name “Rolfe's Mill” was sometimes applied to Hawkshead after Rolfe moved there in 1792. The mill was subsequently tenanted by a partnership of John Shepley (half) and brothers Samuel & Joseph Fielding (half between them) who worked it for making perpetual cotton rovings until March 1807 following Shepley's death. See Shepley's (Wharf) Mill. The Fielding brothers were cousins of Robert Fielding of Bridge End fulling mill.

Hawkshead Mill. Also knows as Starkie's after its builder, James Starkie, who took out the lease on 29th September 1791 and as Rolfe's during the tenancy of Benjamin Rolfe. Baines directory of 1825 and Pigot's of 1824/5 note that Rolfe was in partnership with someone by the name of Bubb. In the Pigot directory of 1828/9 and Glover's of 1829 only Rolfe is listed. About that time the tenancy was taken by Benjamin Waterhouse and Holland but by 1831 Waterhouse was sole tenant. Waterhouse is listed in the Pigot directory of 1835. Rolfe, who was also tenant of Shepley Mill (see below) died on the 25th of March, 1830 aged 63. Benjamin Waterhouse also worked other mills as mentioned below. The mill was burnt down in 1837 but was rebuilt and started again on the 22nd October 1838 by Joseph Berresford and John Holland. Pigot 1842 and Slater 1850 mention Joseph Beresford & Co. of Glossop. After Beresford, Thomas Patterson (or Pattinson) Sykes took the tenancy, as well as the other mills of which he was tenant (see below). He had three sons: John, who died on the 27th April, 1865; and Thomas and Joshua who were the last occupiers. T.P. Sykes died on the 14th January, 1875. The Post Office directory of 1876 lists Thomas Patterson Sykes (exors. of), cotton spinner & doubler, Hope street and Morris's directory of 1878 T. P. Sykes and Sons, cotton spinners and doublers at Hope Hill Mills. The entries presumably covered the Thread and Barrack mills as well. In 1905 Isaac Jackson moved his business to Hawkshead Mill. Further details can be found in the article Isaac Jackson, Hawkshead, a brief history.

Thread Mill. Benjamin Goodison leased the land to build the mill on 12th July 1789 but the business failed in the 1790s and the mill stood empty for some years. Hamnett write that in 1805 it was bought by Robert Bennett for his son-in-law Thomas Ward, whose business failed by 1815. On 17th April 1823 John Wood was working it, one of several he tenanted before moving to Howardtown. In 1833 Abraham Broadbent was in occupation, making bobbins, hat tips and doubled yarn for hand loom weavers. He remained as occupier of the mill until July 1840, when he moved to the Mouse Nest Mill at Padfield. The mill remained empty until 1846, when Mr. John Ford started the wadding business. The 1846 Bagshaw directory shows John Ford as a cotton spinner & manufacturer & weaver & wadding mfr, Thread Mills, Glossop. Ford was succeeded by Mr. John Downs in the same line of business. It was then used by a Mr. Greaves as a brewery. The last occupier is understood to have been T. P. Sykes, who manufactured tape and banding there. At that time it was referred to as Mr Sykes' Lower Mill.

Barrack Mill. Also known as Hope Mill, Higher Water Mill and Ward’s Mill, it was built by Robert Bennett in 1811. John Wood occupied it from 1815 to 1824 with Samuel Collier (later a manager at Wren Nest Mills) as his manager. In 1830 Sale and Harrison were the occupiers. It was empty for several years after 1831, when Benjamin Waterhouse worked it in conjunction with the Lower Water Mill. In 1836 there was a sale of machinery by the assignees of Benjamin Waterhouse, bankrupt; contained in the three large cotton mills which he occupied. In 1846 Bagshaw's directory lists Joseph Beresford and John Holland as tenants. After them came T. P. Sykes and Sons, during which time it was referred to as Mr Sykes' Higher Mill. It was burned down in 1875.

Lower Water Mill. Also known as Waterloo Mill, Old Mill and Twist Mill. The lease for the land on which the mill was built dates from 1st August, 1807. It was built by Robert Bennett but he could not find tenant so it stood empty until 1815 when it became another of the mills worked by John Wood when he first he came to Glossop. He gave up the tenancy in 1825. Wood named it the Waterloo Mill because the Battle of Waterloo had just taken place. A sketch of the Water Mill and the Thread Mill appeared on his bill heads. John Wood is listed in Pigot's directory of 1824/5, as a spinner & manufacturer, but no mill is mentioned. Presumably because he was working several. Thomas Ward was the next occupier but it was empty in 1831 and remained so for many years. In 1846 Thomas Leigh was the tenant, being listed in Bagshaw's directory. Slater's directory of 1850 lists Leigh Edward (cotton) at Twist Mill. In September 1851 John Newton Winterbottom took a 21 years' lease of it; White's directory of 1857 lists him at “Water Mill”. T. P. Sykes then had it and it was burned down during the time his sons were tenants, on the 29th May 1879.

New Water Mill was another built by Robert Bennett, in 1815. It was also tenanted by John Wood in his early days in Glossop. Hamnett wrote that Benjamin Waterhouse also worked the Old Water Mill, or Twist Mill, and the New Water Mill, known as Hope Mill, and Higher Water Mill so confusion of old names is not a new phenomenon. In 1873 it became part of Meadow Mills (see below).

Warth Mill (not to be confused with Wharf Mill) was one of the first, if not the first, cotton mills. It was also known as Platt's Mill and Knott's Mill during the times it was worked by people of those names. Hamnett tells us that a lease of land on The Warth was taken by Joseph Hallam, cotton manufacturer of Oldham (a son of Joseph Hallam, of Manor Hall, Chapel-en-le-Frith) in 1784. Hallam apparently experienced financial difficulties and the mill was mortgaged on a number of occasions, eventually coming into the possession of Robert Bennett. John Knott worked the mill for several years, the mill becoming known by his name, but was subsequently known as Platt's Mill when worked by James Platt, who was listed in Baines directory of 1825 as Jas Platt jr. Pigot's directory of 1824/5 lists him as a spinner & coach proprietor but by 1828 he had become the landlord of the Bull's Head Inn. The next occupier, according to the rate books which Hamnett was able to refer to was William Robinson in 1833. Pigot's directory of 1835 lists Robinson and Hadfield of Glossop and the 1842 directory lists William Robinson, Glossop. In 1842 William Robinson, who was a grandson of John Robinson of Gnat Hole and son-in-law of William Hadfield of Cowbrook, became manager of Wren Nest Mill. William Bramhall was the next tenant. The 1846 Bagshaw directory lists William Bramhall at Knotts Mill and Slater's directory of 1850 lists William Bramhall, Glossop. He is also listed in the Post Office directory of 1855 and White's directories of 1857 and 1862. Hamnett, though, tells us that on 3rd November 1857, Ralph Wood, James Wood, and William Bramhall were the occupiers and owners. On the 23rd July, 1865, Ralph Wood died a bachelor, and James Wood became the owner. Warth Mill was bought on 6th May 1873 by Samuel Rowbottom and it subsequently became part of Meadow Mills.

Meadow Mills came into being when Samuel Rowbottom bought the New Water Mill and Warth Mill, demolished them and rebuilt on the site.

Meadow Mills
Meadow Mills
Meadow Mills
Mossey Lee Mills
In the final years before Rowbottom bought the mills they were used for paper making.
Edward Allen (baptised at Glossop Parish Church in 1834) was the son of a paper maker at Dinting Mill.
The family moved to Tamworth but in the 1861 census Edward was back in Glossop, with his wife, as a joiner.
By the time of the 1871 census Edward was a Master paper stainer living at Shepley Street, the mills being knows as Mossey Lee Mills.
From the business card it seems he was backed by Francis Sumner and someone named Stones.
The business of E Allen & Co failed the next year, being wound up in April 1872.
Edward Allen later became one of the top managers at Turn Lee, as did his son.
Mossey Lee Mills

Shepley’s Mill or Wharf Mill. Not to be confused with Warth Mill or with Shepley Mill in Green Vale (Chapel Street) or the Brookfield Mill. Built by John Shepley whose lease was dated 20th October, 1784. After he died, on 12th December 1806, his son Robert Shepley managed the business. In 1843 Robert's son James became his partner. Robert died on 12 March 1857 and James worked the mill until the expiration of the lease. Pigot's directories of 1824/5, 1828/9 & 1835, Baines of 1825 and Glover's of 1829 do not mention a mill in their listings of Robert Shepley. Nor do the Post Office directory 1855 and White's 1857 in regard to Robert & James. Pigot 1842 and Slater 1850 list Robert and James Shepley at Warth Mill, rather than Wharf. It would appear that the confusion caused by similar names existed even then. The Post Office directory of 1876 has James Shepley as a cotton spinner & manufacturer at Shepley street whilst Morris's of 1878 lists him at Wharf Mill, Shepley street.

Glossop Brook.

Milltown Mill. Hamnett wrote that the lease was granted to Thomas Shaw, cotton manufacturer, of Lower Mill, on the 10th February, 1803. Shaw initially worked the mill in partnership with John Beeley (wrongly named as Bailey in Pigot 1824/5 and 1828/9). Hamnett goes on to that Beeley was the sole occupier in 1831 but 1828/9 directories list both Shaw & Beeley and Rusby & Linney. Pigot, in 1835, lists only Rusby and Linney at Mill town. Hamnett also said that Daniel Hodgson and Jonathan Wright were the occupiers in 1838 but whilst Pigot 1842 lists them it also lists Isaac Linney (no Rusby) at Mill Town. The mill burnt down 1842 and was rebuilt as Wood's Narrow Mill, part of the Howardtown Mills complex, John Wood took a lease of the land on the 9th March 1850.

Bridge End Mill/Bridge Mill/Howard Town Mill. According to Hamnett, this mill was built as a fulling or milling mill, the lease being taken out on 20th December 1782 by Robert Fielding, fustian manufacturer, Whitfield; John Thornley, Hadfield (a partner in Brookside Mill); Samuel Roberts, clothier, Dinting; and Charles Calvert, Glossop. On the 2nd September, 1800, George Burgess, woollen manufacturer, took out a lease for additional land but was not successful as a cotton manufacturer, and the mill was sold by public auction at the Howard Arms Inn on the 5th March 1819. The purchaser was John Wood and the mill became the start of the Howardtown Mills complex. Further details can be found in the article The Wood Family - Mill owners of Glossopdale.

Shepley Mill or Lower Whitfield Mill. This is the mill which stood on Chapel Street in the Green Vale area of Whitfield. It was originally built in 1784. Trade directories list John Barber and Co. as the occupants in the 1830s. He was part of the family that owned Clarke's and Lower Mill at Padfield. Hamnett tells us that Abraham Jackson & Son commenced working Shepley Mill in 1842. Jackson was followed by John Handforth but by 1878 (Morris's Directory) the mill was being run by the Shepley Mill Cotton Manufacturing Co. (Limited). Thomas Robinson was named as the company secretary in the directory. He was the son of William Robinson who had worked Warth Mill before becoming manager at Wren Nest.

Arundel Street Mill. Hamnett wrote that he did not know when this mill was erected, or by whom. It is first mentioned in the available trade directories by White in 1857 when Joseph Stafford and Co. were in occupation. It was later used (Kelly 1899 & 1899) by William Crossland, a cotton waste dealer.

Wren Nest Mill. Matthew Ellison, Agent to the Duke of Norfolk, (not Thomas as Hamnett would have us believe) started building the mill in 1815 but it was much enlarged over subsequent years as leases on more land were obtained, as shown by this map from the 1880s.

Map of the Wren Nest Mill in the 1880s

The mill was originally managed by Matthew's younger son, Thomas with his brother Michael as sleeping partner. Matthew's daughter, Barbara had married Robert Sumner, a widower and father of Francis James Sumner. Robert Sumner died intestate on 29 August 1817 when Francis was 9 years old. He was initially educated at Badderly Green, near Knowle, Birmingham but when he was about 15 his stepmother (and guardian) arranged that he should be taken into the Wren Nest office by his Uncle Tom. Robert Sumner's estate was administered his brothers, Michael and Thomas Ellison (with Matthew Ellison and his son in law Joseph Hadfield of Lees Hall as sureties) looking after the interests of Francis. The success of the administration was such that there was a surplus which Francis was able to use to purchase Wren Nest Mill from his uncles. Further details can be found in the article Francis James Sumner and Wren Nest Mills.

Dinting Mill or Logwood Mill was built in 1804/5 by James, Joseph and Robert Wagstaffe. They failed and in 1811 Thomas Chadwick, cotton manufacturer, of Hattersley, was working it. He also appears to have been unsuccessful as George Wagstaffe took a five year lease on the mill on 15th March 1815. In 1821 it was owned by John Vaudrey, surgeon, Bredbury. In 1823 it was being worked by Scholes, Birch and Co., the firm becoming Birch De Jongh & Co., cotton spinners, the following year. Pigot, in 1835, lists the occupant as Samuel Oliver, Paper Maker (by patent machinery). The name Logwood comes from the logwood tree, the heartwood of which is processed to produce a dye. It appears that the waste from this process was polluting Glossop Brook to the detriment of Edmund Potter's printworks downstream. Potter sued Oliver for damages and the case, which was tried on 21st March 1835, practically ruined him. Pigot's directory of 1842 lists Thomas Corns & Co., Paper makers, as the occupants of Dinting Mill. The mill eventually came into the possession of Edmund Potter, and became part of Dinting Printworks.

Boggart Mill/Dinting Printworks. Boggart Mill was built by Joseph Lyne who took out a lease on the land on 25th March 1817. Hamnett wrote that the mill was never quite finished, for Mr. Lyne got into financial difficulties, and had to borrow money from his neighbour, Moses Hadfield. In the Manchester Guardian, December 27th, 1823, we find the following advertisement:- "Dinting Cotton Mill to let, newly erected, 37 yards by 13 yards; five stories high, exclusive of attic; together with an addition of 15 yards by 8 yards, five stories; water wheel. Apply, Robert Thornley, Vale House, or Moses Hadfield, Simmondley Hall, proprietor. As a result Edmund Potter and his cousin Charles took the premises, the mill being altered to suit their requirements as the basis of their printworks. As a result of high taxation they found themselves in trouble but were able to carry on having obtained a loan. With changes to the taxation regime and the introduction of new methods Edmund Potter was able to turn the business round to the extent that,as Hamnet wrote, “In five years Mr Potter had not only recovered himself but had paid off all his creditors to the amount of £24,000.”. Further details can be found in the article Edmund Potter and the Dinting Printworks, a brief history.

Brookfield Mill. Hamnett tells us that Samuel Shepley built the Brookfield Mill in 1813 but other sources say 1818. Hamnett also said that he was the son of William Shepley, a farmer of Woodcock Road, and cousin to Robert Shepley, whose father John built the Warth Mill or Shepley Mill at Old Glossop. Research in the parish records, however, shows that he was another son of John and brother of Robert. It appears that Hamnett confused him with his uncle. Samuel's sons, John and William, and took over the business when Samuel died in 1858. John died in 1875 and William in 1889, the business having been turned into a Limited Company, J and W Shepley, Ltd, in 1888.

Bray Clough/Gnat Hole Brook.

Jumble Mill and Gnat Hole Mill. Both Jumble and Gnat Hole mills were woollen mills. Jumble Mill was built at Jumble Farm by John Robinson, probably in the late 1760s. He built Gnat Hole Mill in 1790 in order to take advantage of the water power offered by the brook. Further details can be found in the article Gnat Hole - a Woollen Mill in a Cotton Town.

Bury-me-wick Mill/Chunal Mill/Dover Mill. Officially named Chunal Mill, and later Dover Mill, it was given the name Bury-me-Wick from the number of fatal accidents that occurred there during its building and early occupation. A new hand was reputedly told by his fellow workers “Tha might as well be buried wick (alive) as work here”. The original mill was built in 1805 by John Shaw. After his death, his widow, Mary, and her sons continued the business until 1833 when it was burned down. It was rebuilt by John and Joseph Bennett, and became integral with the Turn Lee Paper Mill business run by them and subsequent owners, including Thomas Hamer Ibbotson (see below).

Charlestown Mill or Whitfield Mill was built by Charles Hadfield, of Lees Hall, in 1792. Hamnett wrote that in 1811 it was occupied by a George Robinson (he was a son of John Robinson of Gnat Hole). His only daughter, Mary, had married William Kershaw in 1803 and that was how the Kershaws became connected with Charlestown Mill. It was worked by a company, William, John and James Kershaw, and John Wood of Hadfield, the partnership being dissolved on 14th July 1826, the same day as the Kershaws' Hurst partnership was dissolved. During their occupation of Charlestown Mill they put in a steam engine, the first to be used in a mill at Glossop. James Kershaw carried on alone and after he died was worked by Robert Kershaw, who had for his partner James Bosley, who had retired from the Silk Mill. According to Hamnet the partnership was dissolved by 1843 and the mill was occupied by George Fox. However, Pigot's directory of 1842 lists James Dunsterville Barnes as being in business there as cotton spinners, wool combers) and paper makers. Slater 1850 lists Ford & Hadfield, Paper makers, at Charlestown Mill. In 1869 the mill became John Walton's bleach works; further details can be found in the article John Walton of Glossop, Charlestown & Longdendale Works.

Turn Lee Mills. Originally built in 1805 by William Kershaw who worked them alongside his partnership at Charlestown Mill until he died on 13th August 1825, aged 49. His eldest son, George Roberts Kershaw, was then only a child, and the business was taken over by John and Joseph Bennett, who were related through marriage to the Kershaws. Trade directories record that they worked the mills as wool carders, scale board makers and paper makers. One of the mills was burned down during their time and rebuilt by them. They also worked the Dover and the Tip or Woollen Mill which they enlarged. The Bennetts failed in 1832 and about 1841, when they served a term of imprisonment. George Roberts Kershaw decided against running a mill and moved to Dobcross where he became a bankers clerk. The 1846 Bagshaw directory states “At Turnlee in Littlemoor, Messrs S Kershaw & Co have three extensive factories, and one at Chunall.”. Samuel Kershaw was a cotton waste dealer. By the time of Slater's 1850 directory the mills were run by the Turn Lee Mills Company, Paper maker. According to Hamnett, Joseph Bennett's eldest son, Charles William, was the manager of the mill, and married Mary Ann, the sister of Thomas Hamer Ibbotson, paper manufacturer, of Manchester. He took over the mills but, as a result of fires and a legal dispute, also eventually failed. Cassell, Petter and Galpin, publishers, started paper making at Turn Lee on 16th January 1872, but soon had enough, and in 1873 Olive and Partington became tenants of Turn Lee Mills as paper makers, paper stainers & tin foil manufacturers. From 1878, directories show Olive and Partington working both Turn Lee mills and Dover mills. Further details can be found in the article Olive & Partington's Turnlee Mills.

Tip Mill. Hamnet wrote that the Lower Turn Lee Mill, better known as the Woollen or Tip Mill, was built in 1791 by John and Joseph Bennett. They worked the mill alongside their other interests at Turn Lee and Bury-me-Wick until their business failed. Ollive & Partington bought the mill in 1882 to secure the water rights and it became part of the Turn Lee complex.

Bridgefield Mill was built in 1784 by John Garlick on part of the Mill Moor, belonging to William Hadfield (the owner of Cross Cliffe Mill mentioned above). Hamnett's notes record that a twelve years lease was granted to James Wright in May 1795. At the expiration of the lease the mill was leased to William Wardlow for 1000 years. He worked it for many years, but in 1824 his son in law, Joseph Howard, was the occupier, and (as trade directory entries show) remained for a lengthy period. Slater's directory of 1850 lists Joseph Wilkinson (thread) at Bridgefield Mill. Hamnett says that in 1851 Mr. T. P. Sykes was the occupier and that the mill was destroyed by fire about 1874, and was never rebuilt.

Primrose Mill was built before 1811 by Joseph Hadfield, of Lees Hall, and in 1811 was occupied by William Ratcliffe. Trade directories show that Ratcliffe was there until about 1831 when George Robinson (a grandson of John Robinson who built Gnat Hole mill) worked it as a woollen mill. Hamnett wrote that his brother Joseph was in partnership with him but that is uncertain as Joseph had already started in business as a draper by 1831. By the time of the 1841 census George had moved to Manchester. That accords with Hamnett's statement that in 1838 Joseph Howard worked it in conjunction with the Bridgefield Mill and the entry in Bagshaw's 1846 directory showing Joseph Howard at Bridgefield & Primrose. Slater's directory of 1850 lists John (rather than Thomas) Ibbotson as a fancy paper maker at Primrose Mills. Hamnett says that Thomas Ibbotson was working the Primrose Mill as a staining mill, and suffered a fire on December 12th 1866. The business didn't recover and he had to call his creditors together on 16th January 1868. Morris's directory of 1878 lists John Jackson, cotton spinner at Primrose Mill, Primrose lane.

Simmondley Mill. Joseph Lyne, a member of an old Simmondley family, took a 99 year lease of land on the 29th September 1800 and built the Simmondley Cotton Mill for the carding and spinning of cotton wool. Hamnett goes on to say that the Lynes do not seem to have been very successful in the cotton industry but for a great number of years they carried on the business of Cotton Band Makers. Morris's directory of 1878 lists William Lyne and Sons, Simmondley. When Hamnett was writing the mill was partly in ruins and partly a mineral water manufactory.

River Etherow.

Torside Mill. This small mill had originally been a woollen or cotton mill but Hamnett tells us that John Boyer was a paper maker there in 1811 and in 1823 William Boyer was tenant. Pigot's directory for 1824/5 lists William Boyer as a paper manufacturer and carrier at Hadfield. Hamnett lists the occupants as 1831 Thomas Turner, 1842 William Johnson, 1843 Mary Johnson, 1847 John Goddard, 1848 George Crooks, 1849 Thomas Stott and says that it then became empty, and part of it was used as a beer house.

Valehouse Mill. The Valehouse mills were built in 1795/6 Robert and John Thornley (John also being the builder of the original Wesleyan Chapel at Hadfield). They were the sons of John Thornley who was involved with Brookside and other mills. Hamnett wrote that the mill closed in 1826,owing to the failure of the proprietors, and afterwards came into the possession of Josiah Cheetham who was accidentally killed on March 1st 1832. In 1838 Alexander Steele and Co. were the occupiers, in 1855 and in 1860 (White's Cheshire Directory) William Hobbs and Co. the owners being John Cheetham's executors. The mill was sold in 1864, the ground being required for the extension of the reservoirs.

Bottoms Mill/Bottom’s Lodge Mill can cause confusion as there was another Bottoms Mill, on the Cheshire side of the Etherow, which became Rhodes Mill when bought by Thomas Rhodes (grandfather of the Thomas who built Mersey Mills). It was built in 1795 by John Turner. Glover's directory of 1829 records John Turner, cotton spinner, at Bottom’s Lodge but following his death in 1803 it had been run by his son, William. The mill was sold in 1836 to John Winterbottom and Co. the owners being John Winterbottom and Samuel Lees. The 1846 Bagshaw directory lists John Winterbottom at Bottoms Lodge, Tintwistle, Waterside. In 1847 John Newton Winterbottom was also working Rhodes Mill but in 1851 he took a 21 years lease of the Lower Water Mill, Glossop. Whites Cheshire directory of 1860 lists Robert Cross & Co. at Bottoms Lodge Mills. The mill also had to be sold as a result of the extension of the reservoirs.

Brookside Mill/Waterside Mill/Garden Mill/Bridge Mill. The original Brookside Mill was a fulling mill, worked by John Turner (who later built Bottoms Lodge) & John Thornley, builder of mills on Padfield Brook and a partner in Bridge End fulling mill. By the time Thornely died in 1790 the mill had changed to cotton. On the death of Thornley the partnership was dissolved, Brookside mill being retained by John Turner who was already involved in adding new buildings to the site. John Turner died on 4th March 1803. His son, William, took over and developed Waterside Mill, including building the Garden Mill, before selling to the Sidebottom family in 1820. Trade directories from the middle of the 1820s record John and William Sidebottom and Co. (later also including James) cotton spinners and power-loom manufacturers, Waterside. They continued to develop Waterside, including the building of Bridge Mill on the Cheshire side of the Etherow in Tintwistle. By the 1870s the next generation, headed by Tom Harrop Sidebottom were in charge but they increasingly became interested in politics rather than industry and by the end of the century the complex had been bought by Gartside & Co.

Mersey Mill/Rhodes Bottom Mill was built in 1859 by Thomas Rhodes. He had married Mary, the eldest daughter of Samuel Shepley of Brookfield, and started out with a few looms in his father-in-law's mill. He afterwards occupied Arrowscroft Mill in Hollingworth and stayed there until 1859 when he had finished building Mersey Mill. The mill is partly in Hollingworth and partly in Hadfield as a result of a cloudburst in 1790 which altered the course of the Etherow (which had previously formed the county boundary). The mill buildings were later used by several companies, including John Walton's.

Dalton's Print Works. Not strictly a Glossopdale mill because it was in Hollingworth, on the Cheshire side of the Etherow. However, it is relevant as, having started its life as the home of Thomas & John Dalton, calico-printers, about 1818, it was bought in 1872 by the River Etherow Bleaching Company, which became part of John Walton's when the latter moved from Charlestown.

Woolley Bridge Mill/Lees Mill. Built in 1825 by Henry Lees, son of Robert Lees of Padfield Brook Mill. Henry ran it with his son, also Robert. Trade directories list Henry Lees, cotton spinner & manufacturer, Woolley bridge and then change to Robert Lees when he took over. The building was subsequently used for a number of purposes before being demolished.

Padfield Brook.

Padfield Brook Mill was built in 1793 by Robert Lees of Little Padfield. He worked it until the late 1820s (Pigot 1824/5 lists Robert Lees, spinner) and then handed over to his younger sons John and Edward. The trade directories record John running the mill until he died in 1837 and it was then taken over by his brother Samuel as his sons were too young. Samuel married Eliza Wood, daughter of John Wood of Howardtown, retiring in 1866. Thomas Platt (one of the sons of George Platt) worked the mill. The Post Office Directory of 1876 lists Joseph Dewsnap as tenant whilst Morris's directory of 1878 lists both Dewsnap and the executors of Thomas Platt, who died in 1878. The mill was then taken on by Thomas's brothers William and Edward Platt followed by Edward's son, also Edward (of Mersey Bank and the donor of the Hadfield Public Hall and Reading Room).

Braddock's Mill/Mouse Nest Mill. Built in 1811 by James Braddock. In 1824 George Platt began working it. Pigot's directories of 1828-9 and 1835 list him there. In 1836 John and James Braddock were the tenants. In July 1840 Abraham Broadbent left the Thread Mill at Glossop to commence business as a cotton doubler at Mouse nest, being listed in the 1846 Bagshaw directory. After he died in 1861 it had various uses until it was incorporated in Hadfield Mill (Rhodes Top Mill).

Clarke's Mill. Building of the mill was started in 1803 by William Barber but leased it to Abraham Clarke, machine maker and carpenter of Hadfield in the same year. Clarke finished the mill and worked it until he died on 4th December 1815. His executors, one of whom was Joseph Lyne, builder of Boggart and Simmondley mills, leased the mill back to William Barber. In 1823 the mill was burned down, but re-erected by Mr Clarke's son-in-laws. Trade directories show William Barber (and sons) working the mill until 1842 though Hamnett says it was empty by 1840 and remained so for many years. In 1874 it was incorporated in Hadfield Mill (Rhodes Top Mill).

Lower Mill was also built by William Barber, on a lease dated 25th March 1804. Directories show it worked by William and then by John Barber & Brothers (1846 Bagshaw directory). His nephew, Samuel Lees, then started working it alongside Padfield Brook Mill until 1854. He is listed in Slater's directory of 1850 at both mills. The Post Office directory of 1855 lists Padfield Mill Company, cloth & thread manufacturers. Hamnett wrote that in 1859 Charles J Fisher was tenant and he failed in 1862. In 1874 it was incorporated in Hadfield Mill (Rhodes Top Mill).

Hadfield Mill/Rhodes Top Mill. As noted above, Thomas and William Shepley Rhodes demolished the three smaller mills to enable the building of Hadfield Mill in 1874. They worked the mill alongside Mersey Mill until they closed down in 1932.

Station Mills were built in 1855 by Thomas & Edward Platt. Morris's directory of 1878, over several entries, shows them working it alongside Padfield Mills, Bank Bottom Mill, White Mill, and Station Mill. By 1932 the mill had been taken over by E. Wilman & Sons Ltd, shown in Kelly's directory as “silk noil spinners & mfrs. Station mills. T A “Noil, Glossop;” T N Glossop 160”.

Hadfield Lodge Mill/White Mill was occupied by Thomas Thornley following the death of his father and the dissolution of the partnership with John Turner. Directories show that he worked it until at least 1829 but from 1835 they list Willliam & Thomas Platt (later joined by their brother Edward) as working it. The three brothers were, as Hamnett says, “all born at Shaw, where the Platts had resided for generations”.

Thornley Mill/Bankbottom Mill was occupied by John Thornley after the Brookside partnership dissolution, alongside his interest in Valehouse Mill. He is listed in Pigot's directories of 1824-5 & 1828-9 and Glover's of 1829 but Pigot of 1835 and later directories don't even mention the mill. Thomas Platt is shown in residence there in the 1841 census (brother William recorded at Hadfield Lodge). The three brothers Platt also occupied this mill, which was pulled down in June 1899, the business apparently integrated with their other mills such that it did not merit a separate entry in trade directories.

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Page last updated: 13 January 2019.
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