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ANCHOR MILL AND WEAVING SHED

(incorporating Feathers Mill)

Halifax Road

Todmorden

Map Ref. SD 941241

 

 

Known occupiers

1847-1870

MARSHALL John

1849-1870

HOWARTH William

1870-1893

HOWARTH James

1857-1863

CRABTREE W & J

1861-1870

DUCKWORTH William

1871-1884

CRABTREE Charles

1890-1902

SUTCLIFFE Sugden & James William

1895

SUTCLIFFE Henry

1897

MARSHALL Abraham

1968

SANDBACH William Lacy

2005

Demolished.

site of Anchor Mill after demolition 2005

 

It is now near impossible to sort out the complex of mills that developed on the once open land between the main road to Halifax, previously known as Roomfield Lane, and the canal. There were no streets, just open land, meadow and fields. The first to be built were ALBION MILL and CANAL STREET WORKS in 1839. The rest followed on over the next 30 years. One large complex of mills was a solid block, consisting of ANCHOR MILL, FEATHERS MILL, HOPE STREET MILL, CROFT MILL and STACKHILLS MILL, and GIBSONS MILL.

 

Plan of Halifax Road mills, prepared by W. L. Sandbach

about 1920 for insurance purposes.

 

Feathers Mill

Feathers Mill was 3 storeys high, squashed between the Rope & Anchor Inn and a block of dwellings fronting Roomfield Lane (now Halifax Road.). Immediately behind, and attached to it, was the much larger Anchor Mill. William Howarth was the owner of the Rope & Anchor and appears as the owner of Anchor Mill in the Langfield Rates Book. It is now impossible to determine who occupied which mill, mainly because the rates assessors simply recorded “Roomfield Lane” as the address. It is possible it was rarely or even never used as a separate mill, but treated as part of Anchor Mill, being small and having the same owner. The mill was partly demolished in the 1960's, possibly when W. L. Sandbach took it over.

 

Notes from John Travis, contemporary historian

William Howarth, carrier and owner of the Rope & Anchor Inn and Anchor Mill, Roomfield Lane, built a weaving shed behind the mill in the 1850’s for which there was a tenant ready. Place not vacant for any length of time since, though several successive tenants.

 

Todmorden Official Handbook

Charles Crabtree Ltd. founded by Mr. Charles Crabtree who entered into partnership on 23rd December 1860 with Mr. John Marshall to run 22 looms at BURNT ACRES MILL, Eastwood. Between 1868 and 1883 additional looms run at Anchor, SANDHOLME and CARR MILLS, also at Cornholme and Rochdale. In 1870 John Marshall withdrew from the partnership.

 

Charles Crabtree

 

Additional information

mostly researched, recorded and referenced by Mrs Sheila Wade, Hebden Bridge WEA Local History Group

 

White 1847

John Marshall, cotton spinner and manufacturer

 

Langfield Highway Rates November 1849

Occupier John Marshall; owner William Howarth; Roomfield Lane; Mill; rateable value £37.3s.3d.

 

1851 census

John Marshall, Roomfield Lane, innkeeper and cotton spinner employing 30 hands.

 

White 1853

John Marshall, cotton spinner and manufacturer

 

Langfield Poor Rate 1856

Owner and occupier William Howarth; Roomfield Lane; mill and power; rateable value £38.15s.9d. Shed etc. rateable value £21.15s.7d. (Shed empty)

 

Langfield Poor Rate 1857-59

Owner and occupier William Howarth; Roomfield Lane; mill, shed, power etc; rateable value £60.11s.4d.

Occupier W. and J. Crabtree; owner William Howarth; Roomfield Lane; 2.5hp; rateable value £1.12s.3d.

 

Langfield Rates Book 1859-64

Owner and occupier John Marshall; Roomfield; warehouse; rateable value £8.4s.8d. (New in January 1859)

 

Langfield Poor Rate 1860-62

Owner and occupier William Howarth; Roomfield Lane; mill, shed etc; 9hp; 4hp; 9.5hp; rateable value £78.18s.3d.

Occupier W. and J. Crabtree; owner William Howarth; Roomfield Lane; 2.5hp; rateable value £1.12s.3d.

 

Todmorden Post Office Directory 1861

John Marshall, Rope and Anchor, and cotton waste dealer at Roomfield Lane

 

Kelly 1861

William Howarth, cotton spinner, carder, and carrier

William Duckworth, Roomfield Mill, cotton manufacturer

 

Langfield Poor Rate 1863

Owner and occupier William Howarth; Roomfield Lane; mill, shed etc. 9hp; new shed £52.4s.0d. (Empty)

Occupier W. and J. Crabtree; owner William Howarth; Roomfield Lane; 2.5hp; rateable value £1.12s.3d.

 

Langfield Poor Rate 1864

Owner and occupier William Howarth; Roomfield Lane; mill, shed etc. 9hp; new shed £52.4s.0d. (Empty)

 

Langfield Poor Rate 1865-69

Owner and occupier William Howarth; Roomfield Lane; mill, shed, power; rateable value £105.3s.0d. (Part empty)

 

White 1866

William Howarth, cotton manufacturer

William Duckworth, Roomfield Lane Mill, cotton manufacturer

 

Langfield Poor Rate 1870

Occupied by Howarth & Duckworth; owner James Howarth; Roomfield Lane; mill, shed, power; rateable value £105.3s.0d.

 

Langfield Poor Rate 1871

Occupier Charles Crabtree; owner James Howarth; Roomfield Lane; mill, shed, power; rateable value £105.3s.0d.

 

Kelly 1871

Charles Crabtree, cotton manufacturer

 

Langfield Poor Rate 1873

Occupier Charles Crabtree; owner James Howarth; Roomfield Lane; mill, shed, power; rateable value £105.3s.0d. Additional warehouse and office rateable value £7.(Rates not paid, bankrupt, no assets.)

 

Langfield Poor Rate 1874-8

Occupier Charles Crabtree; owner James Howarth; mill etc and power; rateable value £112.3s.0d.

 

Slater 1875

John Marshall, cotton spinner and manufacturer

Charles Crabtree, Roomfield Lane, cotton spinner and manufacturer

 

Slater 1877

Charles Crabtree, Roomfield Lane, cotton spinner and manufacturer

 

Todmorden and Hebden Bridge Advertiser 1st August 1879

Anchor Mill; 3,000 spindles; 176 looms; working 5 days a week.

 

Todmorden and Hebden Bridge Advertiser 9th January 1880

Charles Crabtree, Anchor Mill, weavers on strike against overtime.

 

Todmorden and Hebden Bridge Advertiser 16th January 1880

Charles Crabtree’s mill in Roomfield Lane, weavers still on strike

 

Todmorden and Hebden Bridge Advertiser 24th July 1880

Flood at Anchor Mill, Charles Crabtree.

 

Todmorden Advertiser 22nd February 1884

Tender to let for pulling down and re-erecting ashlar wall, and quantity of flagging. Apply Charles Crabtree, Anchor Mill, Todmorden.

 

Todmorden Advertiser 18th April 1884

To Let; Roomfield Mill, occupier Charles Crabtree, containing 300 mule spindles and preparation, also weaving shed to hold 167 looms. Apply James Howarth, Bank Top, Todmorden.

 

Langfield Poor Rate 1885-88

Occupier Charles Crabtree; owner James Howarth; Anchor; mill, shed, power; rateable value £83.15s.0d.

 

Yorks Factory Times 5th July 1889

Anchor Mill – Some delay has been occasioned at Anchor Mill, Todmorden, which has been rented by Messrs. S. and J. Sutcliffe, owing to the non-arrival of a boiler. Now, however, it has arrived, and the shed will be started as soon as possible.

 

Yorks Factory Times 26th July 1889

Anchor Mill – The looms at this shed are being set in motion as quickly as possible, and when the shed is in full swing, Messrs. S. and J.W. Sutcliffe, who have two other sheds in full operation, will have about 600 looms on full time.

 

Sugden Sutcliffe

 

Langfield Rates Book 1890

Occupiers Sugden and James William Sutcliffe; owner James Howarth; mill and power; Anchor; rateable value £83.15s.0d.

 

Worrall 1891

S. & J.W. Sutcliffe, Sandholme, Anchor and Hope Street Sheds, 639 looms, wigans, domestics, sheetings, twills etc. Manchester warehouse - 35 Spring Gardens.

 

Langfield Rates Book 1893

Occupiers Sugden and James William Sutcliffe; owner James Howarth; mill and power; Halifax Road; rateable value £136.5s.0d.

 

Kelly 1893

S. & J.W. Sutcliffe, Sandholme and Roomfield Lane, cotton manufacturers.

 

Kelly 1895

Henry Sutcliffe, cabinet maker & upholsterer, Anchor Mill

 

Views and Reviews 1896


Messrs S. and J.W. Sutcliffe, manufacturers of single and double warp wigans, twills, domestics, sheetings and coloured goods, SANDHOLME and Anchor Sheds. Among the firms of the district which have made exceptional progress during the present generation, one of the most important is that of Messrs. S. and J.W. Sutcliffe of the Sandholme and Anchor factories, makers of a variety of important fabrics. The business, like so many others in Yorkshire, was begun on a modest scale twenty years ago, Mr S. Sutcliffe in partnership with his father in law starting in HOPE STREET SHED with 90 looms. Mr Sutcliffe's brother in law, Mr. J. W. Sutcliffe eventually became the second partner and the substantial progress the firm has made is seen in the fact that 90 old fashioned looms of 20 years ago are now represented by between 500 and 600, devoted to the manufacture of five or six classes of fabrics, and all of the most modern type, for effective and economical production.

The mills are of the normal type, large and solidly built stone structures, flanked by ranges of one storey weaving sheds let from the roof. A fine steam engine drives the looms and machinery appliances, and from two to three hundred hands find regular employment in weaving and preparatory operations. During the twenty years covered by their operations, their employees have been kept in full work, with but one slight break. The wigans, twills, domestics, sheetings and coloured goods, made by Messrs. Sutcliffe are now generally regarded as standard articles on the market, and are readily disposed of. Great care is constantly exercised in the selection of yarns, and in the weaving process, so that it would not be easy to produce better goods. Both partners are highly popular in the district, and Mr S. Sutcliffe has just been elected an Alderman of the new borough.

 

Langfield Rates Book 1897

Owner and occupier Abraham Marshall; loom shed and power etc; Anchor; rateable value £136.5s.0d.

Owner and occupier Abraham Marshall; loom shed, warehouse etc; Roomfield Lane; rateable value £116.

 

Kelly 1897

S. & J.W. Sutcliffe, Sandholme and Anchor Sheds, cotton manufacturers.

 

Todmorden in Coronation Year of Edward VII (1902)

Alderman Sugden Sutcliffe, Glenroyd House, senior partner in S. & J.W. Sutcliffe, manufacturers of single and double warp wigans, twills, domestics, sheetings, and coloured goods at Sandholme and Anchor Sheds.

 

In the 1960's the mill was purchased by William Lacy Sandbach along with HOPE STREET, CROFT and Feathers Mills, all adjoining mills off Halifax Road.

 

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