PRIESTWELL MILLWRIGHT WORKS
Map Ref. SD944246
Notes from John Travis, 19th century historian:
William, Robert and Elizabeth Barker came from Chipping near Clitheroe in the 18th century and settled at Priestwell, and finally at Swan and Millwood. The brothers were wood turners, and are said to have made a wagonload of articles – trenchers, basins, rolling pins etc for sale on route. They soon established a business at Priestwell, having a workshop and waterpower to turn the lathes, and other machines, with a water dam at Durn. They worked in wood and iron, and travelled as far as Ripponden and Saddleworth to work at machines. Whilst at Priestwell they started making water wheels, gearing, shafting, pullies etc. In 1790, they made a water wheel for RIDGEFOOT MILL in the field in front of their shop.
Priestwell was a block of 6 cottages, workshop, dam at Durn and another smaller dam behind their workshop. Robert Barker was the head of the firm and the forefather of the Swan family; his brother William lived to be an old man.
It was Robert Barker junior who was the millwright at Priestwell in the time Travis is talking about. From the registers of Cross Stone Church it is apparent he was resident at Priestwell from at least 1779 when he married his first wife (and is recorded as a millwright). This wife, Mary, died at Priestwell in 1800. He remarried in 1801 and his second lot of children were born at Millwood. His brother James was also living at Priestwell during this period.
Stansfield Township valuation 1805
Plan number 186
Burn’d House and Priestwell; factory with waterfall and lodge; owned and occupied by John Sutcliffe; 35 perches; annual value £9.