HOLLINS BOTTOM MILL
Map Ref. SD938222
© Copyright Chris Allen and licensed for reuse under this
Creative Commons Licence
Site laid out with intended road, belonging to John Crossley Esq. To be leased in lots to suit purchasers.
SUTHERS Luke Harker & William, cotton
FIELDEN Bros., cotton
SUTCLIFFE & GREENWOOD, cotton
Messrs. Finney Bros. Ltd., poultry
Dugdale Lello & Co. Ltd., leather dog chews
The history of the mill, taken from a report by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, Yorkshire Textile Mills Survey, April 1987:
Hollins Bottom Mill was built in 1855 to 1856 as a cotton spinning mill. The builders were Luke Harker Suthers and his brother William, sons of widow Mary Suthers of York Street, Todmorden. They were wholesale grocers but found themselves threatened by the success of the co-operative movement and decided to venture into the cotton business.
In 1855 they leased almost 4,000 square yards of land from the Crossley Estates (Scaitcliffe). The mill occupied the western end of the site whilst the eastern side was earmarked for housing. There is a surviving terrace of double decker houses that may well have been built by the Suthers brothers as a means of providing rental income as well as housing for the workforce.
The terrace of 10 houses, 5 at the bottom
and 5 at the top
The mill was steam powered and took the form of a large shed with the power plant at one end. It is located alongside the Rochdale Canal, presumably planned to take advantage of transportation by barge. The brothers took on an additional lease at Hollins in 1857 and built a further 22 houses on the land.
The mill was working by 1858 and was successful enough. In 1871 the Suthers brothers were living comfortably in expensive houses and employing 5 domestic servants between them. However, by 1876 things were on the slippery slope. They took out a second mortgage from the Fielden Brothers for £6,500. Two years later they filed for bankruptcy. By this time they also had a mill in Burnley, the CALDERVALE MILL. Their liabilities were estimated at £20,000.
The machinery went under the hammer in July 1878. This included single and double beater scutchers and lap machines for 48” cards, 16 single carding engines by Lord Bros.; also drawing, slubbing, intermediate and roving as necessary for 7,712 spindles, together with a winding engine and warp mills etc. Bought by the Fielden Brothers for £1,210.
The mill also went under the hammer. The Todmorden and Hebden Bridge Advertiser of 19th July 1878 carried the report:
Hollins Mill, Walsden, and steam boiler, steam engine 42hp, shafting, gearing, fixtures, gas and steam piping etc. The site consists of 3,977 square yards. Indenture of lease 18th December 1855 for 999 years, annual payment £26. Water supplied by the Rochdale Canal Company at £7 per annum. Bought by the Fielden Brothers for £3,750.
These amounts do not tally with other documents, and may reflect the money owed to the Fieldens by the Suthers.
The mill was used in part by the Fieldens until 1883 when it closed down. In 1890 John Fielden leased to Jackson Sutcliffe and James Greenwood, manufacturers,
… All that weaving shed and warehouse … called Hollins Mill … together with the engine house, boiler house, offices, stable etc. and also the 2 cottages thereto adjoining, and also the beam engine, boiler, economiser, shafting, millwright work, gas and steam piping, now in the occupation of the lessees, though late in the occupation of William Sutcliffe … 2 year lease at £200 per annum.
Sutcliffe and Greenwood also had a business at CANTEEN MILL. They worked 350 looms at Hollins Bottom, producing wigans, domestics, twills and sheetings. They used Hollins Bottom for weaving, finishing the spinning operations completely.
The following is an extract from “Views and Reviews” by Pike, 1896
Messrs Sutcliffe and Greenwood
Canteen Mills, Cornholme, and Hollins Bottom Mill, Walsden
In a delightful stretch of very undulating country, bordering on Yorkshire but still within the County Palatine of Lancashire, whose staple industry is here carried on, lies Cornholme, a village in the immediate vicinity of Todmorden. Cotton spinning and manufacturing give employment to the natives of the place.
The establishment of Messrs. Sutcliffe and Greenwood of the Canteen Mills is recognised as one of the important industrial concerns in Cornholme. The firm has been in existence for the past 22 years, and besides their cotton mill in Cornholme, they have another establishment at Walsden, also in the vicinity of Todmorden. Both these mills are favourably situated, being within easy reach of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company’s goods depot, by which means coals as well as raw material are conveyed to the neighbourhood. Both mills occupy large spaces of ground and are well constructed.
In addition to the extensive weaving sheds, there are suitable warehouses, offices and conveniences for the preparatory processes. The interior of the works is fitted up with a complete equipment of the latest mechanical appliances, including at Cornholme 210 looms and at Walsden 350 looms. Indeed, in speaking of the machinery employed by Messrs. Sutcliffe and Greenwood, it is only necessary to say that the entire establishments present examples of systematic organisation, which clearly indicate effective and diligent supervision, and that the working facilities are such as to enable the firm to keep pace with the heaviest demands of an increasing trade, and to fully maintain the excellent reputation they have gained.
Special branches of cotton manufacturing, in which Messrs. Sutcliffe and Greenwood engage, include the production of Wigans, domestics, twills and sheetings, for which they have gained a good provincial reputation, their productions on these lines being unsurpassed in the Manchester markets at the present day, equally as regards quality and finish. Throughout both establishments the most perfect organisation and order prevails, and in meeting the demands of buyers neither pains nor expense is spared.
The members of the firm are gentlemen well known in the industrial and commercial world, enjoying the confidence and esteem of all who know them, and a cotton manufacturing concern of higher repute or more honourable business antecedents will not be found in the Todmorden district. The senior partner, Mr. Sutcliffe, takes an active part in the public affairs of the parish, and very capably fills the position of an alderman of the Town Council.
The firm of Sutcliffe and Greenwood continued at Hollins Bottom well into the 20th century, initially as lessees and later as owners. In 1919, the firm, then owned by Wilfred Sutcliffe, Arnold Sutcliffe and Gilbert Sutcliffe, purchased the lease for £3,300 for the residue of the 999 years, plus £26 rent per annum. This was the land at 3,977 square yards and the weaving shed and warehouse etc.
In 1943, they purchased the land, mill and ten cottages from the then owners, Willie Barker of Todmorden, cotton manufacturer, and John James Barker of Todmorden, coal factor, for the sum of £614.2s.0d.
By 1960, Sutcliffe and Greenwood was in liquidation and it was resolved to wind up the company. They conveyed the whole property to Messrs. Finney Bros. Ltd. who proposed to use the mill as a poultry shed.
In 1964, Messrs. Finney Bros. sold the mill to Dugdale Lello & Company Ltd., leather merchants, who manufactured dog chews.
The mill was demolished in 2004-2005 and is currently awaiting redevelopment.
the site after demolition, with the cottages behind
researched, recorded and referenced by Mrs Sheila Wade
Hebden Bridge WEA Local History Group
Walsden Rates Book 1860-76
Owned and occupied by L.H. and W. Suthers, Hollins Mill, shed etc. 20hp steam, rateable value £155.1s.0d.
1866 – RV £155.16s.0d.
1867 – additional warp room etc. £2.3s.0d.
Todmorden and Hebden Bridge Advertiser 1st Aug 1879
Hollins Bottom Mill (Balaclava) 7,712 spindles, closed
Fielden family documents July 1878
L.H. and W. Suthers liquidation, in account with Fielden Bros., mortgagees. Amount of purchase money to be paid by John Fielden equals £7,450; amount of proof £1,727.4s.5d., total £9177.4s.5d.
Walsden Rates Books 1879
Owners Fielden Bros., one-third empty, mill and power, Hollins, RV £157.19s.0d.
Walsden Rates Books 1880-81
One-third empty, owner John Fielden, mill and power, Hollins, RV £168. (1881 £48)
Walsden Rates Books 1883
Permanently unoccupied, owner John Fielden, mill and power, Hollins, RV £48
Walsden Rates Books 1886-88
Permanently unoccupied, owner John Fielden, shed and steam power, RV £141.15s.0d. (1888 RV £137.15s.0d.)
Walsden Rates Books 1890
Occupiers Jackson Sutcliffe (Lineholme Villas) and James Greenwood (York Place), owner John Fielden, shed and steam power, RV £137.15s.0d.