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A Little Of Stoneswood Mill's History

 

We’ve yet to find out when our mill was built, but we do know that it had been originally built to spin weft and warp by local farmer-weavers, namely Charles Barker, James Stansfield and Luke Hamer. They used the mill until 1815 at which time it stood empty until 1818 when the Fieldens bought it.

Steam power was added and it was re-configured for cotton preparation, throstle spinning and warping. A valuation in 1832 states 42 throstles/5,148 spindles at 4/- each, also that the power was from two Steam Engines combined with the water wheel. Buildings were valued at £3000 and Machinery £1777. In 1856 the mill was recorded as having 14 HP steam and 5 HP waterpower. It employed 19 children under 13, 25 women and 10 men. Sadly 1893 saw the end of that era when they removed all the machinery and sold the mill.

Data extracted from Brian Law’s Fieldens of Todmorden. ISBN 0-946571-26-0

For more information about the Fieldens take a look at web pages for  Joshua FieldenSamuel FieldenJohn Fielden, or Thomas Fielden on the Spartacus School net . They have also published a lot of information relating to the  Textile Industry . Another good source of local information can be found at  Todmorden and Walsden, one page of local interest is “Dulesgate” or “Devil's Gate”  when  sometime around 1854 Edwin Waugh took a walk up our valley. 

The National Archives also now has a Fieldens family record section with a great deal of detailed information extracted from title deeds and related papers.

All  well worth a look.

 

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The mill was sold at auction as Lot 19 on the 1st June 1893. We suspect from the pencil note that if fetched 500 Pounds 
 

Click to enlarge.

lot19forsale.jpg (71223 bytes)

map1893.jpg (64572 bytes)

Details of Lot 19 from 1893 Auction Map detail showing mill site and reservoir.
Also sold at the same time were the 6 cottages opposite locally known as Brass Nobs Row. At the time the annual rental from the cottages amounted to 36 Pounds 16 Shillings and 8 Pence. From a pencil note we suspect they raised 550 Pounds at the auction. 
 

The next major Stoneswood Mill occupants were the Waltons, who were also responsible for building the lower section of the mill. Photos above of the inside of the mill at this time can be found on the Old Mill Photo's 1 and  Old Mill Photo's 2 pages. 

Eric Starkie  a local man who sadly passed away Jan 13 1999 aged 83, used to tell many a tale from this section of the mills history, and of how he used to regularly be chastised for swimming in both the water tanks and lodges. At one point motor bikes with the engine mounted on the front wheel were manufactured, at another time light bulbs were boxed or Bathroom cabinets assembled. Eric could clearly remember our dam and the day it was filled in, not to mention the dumping a couple of light aircraft in the bottom.   

 

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