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TODMORDEN SOUTH AND SOUTH WEST
ROCHDALE ROAD IN 1840

Written by JOHN TRAVIS about 1900

Transcribed by Arlene Hinman in 2003

   

White Hart Fold

The buildings in the vicinity of the White Hart Fold were fairly numerous 50 or 60 years ago, consisting of the inn, barn, and stable, with Messrs. Eastwoods’s offices, a house and shop belonging to James Lord, gardener, and the cabinet maker’s workshop and sale rooms of Timothy Roberts, on the site of the Old Vicarage.
   
Half way up the church steps stood the ENDOWED SCHOOL, with the master’s house over, and the playground for the school was behind the church. Past the churchyard on the right hand side was the commencement of Rise-lane, at that time mainly used as a back entrance to the Todmorden Hall, and there was a narrow pathway up to the farms and small dwelling-houses above. The shop at the entrance to the lane was occupied in 1834 by Abraham Barker, grocer and draper, who had as his apprentice one of the grandsons of the late Rev. Joseph Atkinson, curate of Todmorden.
   
The buildings now in Church-street were almost all built at the time these papers refer to. Shop-lane (now Water-street) was so named from its association with the “Old Shop Farm,” the property of a family of the name of Barnes, who were also the owners of Higher Swineshead Farm, and regular worshippers at the Quaker Meeting house at Shoebroad.

Church Street about 1860

   
The making of the CANAL between the years 1794 and 1802 was the means of cutting off a large slice of this property, right from Salford to Stackhills. Up in the Longfield road and Shoebroad districts, there were quite a number of buildings at that time, the oldest of all being those in Honey-hole Gardens, which were probably the oldest cottages in the district.
   

On the spot where the Fielden Coffee Tavern now stands, Joseph Sutcliffe (Joseph o’th’ Butcher’s) in 1834 built two good dwelling-houses, the site having been previously occupied by Hanson’s, “round timber-yard.”

Joseph Sutcliffe had derived his by-name from the fact that he had served his apprenticeship with Thomas Lord, butcher, and had succeeded him in his business between 1820 and 1830.

   

“Butcher Lord” had been the builder of the three houses at Pavement, which are now in the occupation of Mrs. Crossley, James Duckworth Ltd., and the shop previously occupied by Knowles and Lord, druggists. Next to the houses on the site of the Fielden Tavern, was the shop of James Newell Walton, at one time a schoolmaster at the old Mechanics’ Institution, and the keeper of a stationer’s shop in King-street. This shop was also opened as a printing establishment, and Mr. Walton was likewise appointed as Postmaster of Todmorden, his daughter Zipporah succeeding him in that post on his death.

Salford was very little different from what it is at present, with the exception of the changes of ownership and of tenants. This part of Todmorden was fully described in a paper by the late Thomas Chambers, which was published in the “Advertiser” under the title of “The cradle of Todmorden’s industries.” Cheapside was at one time known as King-street, but Messrs. Chambers Bros. changed the name to the one which at present designates it.

view of the Salford area in 1906

 

On the left-hand side of the road at Pickles Bridge, where now the Post Office stands, was Samuel Hanson’s grocery and tea shop, which occupation and trade he had assumed when he gave up the timber trade upon the erection of dwelling houses on the site of his yard. He was a grandson of Samuel Hanson who kept the White Hart Inn, and he served his apprenticeship to the trade of a tea and coffee dealer out of the town. His shop and house was erected on the site of the old saw-pit.

Opposite Cheapside was BANKFIELD BUILDINGS, three houses which had been built by Messrs. Fielden Bros. For three of their employees, John and Joseph Firth, and William Howarth, who afterwards ran the Folly and Causey Wood Mills, and the ALBION MILL at Todmorden. The “Admiral Lord Nelson Inn” was kept before 1830 by William Sutcliffe, who was married to a daughter of Jeremiah Bottomley, of Inchfield Fold, Walsden. The other building in Cheapside was “John o’ Binns’s Smithy,” as it was erroneously called, the place being kept by John Shackleton, son of Benjamin Shackleton of Pudsey, Cornholme. The only other buildings in Todmorden proper were the cottages built at the back of the smithy, and running down the “Giddle Gaddle.” These houses were built by John Sutcliffe, the carrier, about the year 1820.

Between these old buildings and Dawson Weir was old George Cockcroft’s sheep field. Dawson Weir was at one time the old “Coach and Horses Inn,” and later became the property of the late Mr. John Fielden, before he became the member for Oldham.

Dobroyd-lane led to two old mills and to a roller maker’s works, once occupied by John Marland, and afterwards by Joseph Hirst. At Lower Dobroyd there was George Cockcroft’s slaughterhouse and butcher’s shop, with several cottages, and the shop of William Ingham, grocer and clogger.

The next building was the house and schoolroom built by John Taylor, schoolmaster, the schoolroom extending over the shops. This school used to be considered the best institution of its kin in the district. In Dobroyd Canal Yard were six old houses, which were the property of the Rochdale Canal Co., but were in the occupation of employee of Messrs. Fielden Bros. On the other side of the road was WATERSIDE MILL, the first portion of which was known as Laneside Mill, which was turned by water power, the first cotton being worked there about 1783.

On the right hand side of the road was the FIELDEN FACTORY SCHOOL, with the clock tower. The clock was placed there in 1836. There was a large timber yard and saw pit next to the school, and the offices for Waterside Mill were afterwards built here. At the head of Waterside Holme were the barns and stables belonging to the firm, with Wadsworth Mill old tollhouse as the next old building. The mill was an old corn-grinding mill, owned and run by a man named Wadsworth, the mill power being one horse or jennet. The whole of the frontage on to the main road was built upon before 1840, whilst the back-to-back houses at Waterloo were built by the Fieldens after the battle of that name.

The Wadsworth Mill Holme, called after the corn miller mentioned above, is now entirely built over, the extent being from the stables at the head of Waterside Holme to the Bridge-end Co-op., the site of which was once occupied by a smithy and wheelwright’s establishment. About 1837, Thomas Butterworth and others built and ran a bobbin shop at the canal end of High-street, Shade, and immediately afterwards William Fielden, coming from a beerhouse in Hanson’s old timber-yard, Todmorden, built a house here and kept it as a beerhouse under the name of the WHISKET INN.

Butcher Hill and Knowlwood being older than Shade proper, it is proposed to take that route first. At the bottom is Swineshead Clough, where seven new cottages were built in a garden at the foot of the clough by Wm. Stansfield, the then owner of the land, and four old cottages higher up the ravine. The two houses at the top were originally a small factory owned and run by the Fielden family, of Middle Swineshead Farm, as a clothing factory.

On the Langfield side of the clough at the bottom were four houses and a smithy, since rebuilt as Castle-view. On the Walsden side was the old GUERNING DOG public house, with several old cottages, the property of the Fielden family just mentioned, but later owned by the Fieldens of Allescholes, Walsden. This property was later pulled down and entirely re-modeled by Mr. James Crossley, butcher, of Todmorden.

Opposite Bridge-end-terrace, Messrs. Fielden Bros., of Waterside, built a shop for the Co-operative Society, the society later on buying up the smithy and wheelwright’s shop, and erecting the present stores. The rest of the property along the road was built at different times, and by different people, though the contractor for many blocks of the property was John Sutcliffe, a stonemason, of Knowlwood, who also built the row of houses opposite the Spinners’ Rest beerhouse before 1820; who also built more of the blocks on the left-hand side of Knowlwood-road, and the back-to-back row of houses opposite the Spinners’ Rest. The Black Horse and SPARKS' lodging-house were built by John Lord, butcher and farmer, of Swineshead Middle Farm.

The block of houses of which the above named public house was one, was at one time in the possession of Mr. John Eastwood, of Eastwood, and behind these cottages was the old loomshop, the object of which was the relief of the poor of the district. This was built by the overseers of Todmorden and Walsden, to accommodate a number of poor families and to supply them with the means of existence in the way of handloom weaving, but when the factories became more common, and the old method of manufacture passed out of common use, the poor were sent to the GAUXHOLME and other workhouses. This place was built on the site of the present Speak’s lodging-house, the property having been purchased by Mr. Thomas Speak from George Cockcroft, the son of the original owner.

Returning to the starting point at Bridge-end, it may be noticed that all the property around Little Holme and Wadsworth Holme belonged at one time to a Mr. Shackleton, a tanner, of Hebden Bridge, whose daughters married Mr. John Eastwood, of Eastwood, and Dr. Thomas, of Hebden Bridge, each of the ladies being dowered with a portion of the land, and in the latter case with about five or six houses, three in Little Holme-street and the three in the main road which are at present used as butcher’s and drapery shops. When the canal was being made, the company erected a woodshed, or shade, from which place the district probably drives its name. All the land in the vicinity was afterwards built upon, the principal buildings being the cabinet maker’s shop of Mr. John Firth, and the carrier’s stables and premises of John Sutcliffe, at one time a very successful business man having an extensive connection with the surrounding districts.

   
The houses in Lock-st. and Shade-st. were built by Dr Thomas, but those names were not at first given to them, and the streets were known generally as Physic-street. Most of the houses round were built before 1840, some of the stone coming from the old Masons’ Arms at Gauxholme, which was demolished to make room for the railway works.

Shade Street

   

In Gauxholme much of the old property remains to this day just as it was in those times, the tenant of the Masons’ Arms having built the VIADUCT TAVERN when he was compelled to remove from the old house. When the viaduct was made, the old corn mill was demolished and moved further back, and a row of cottages in the corner of Dancroft, which belonged to Mr. Abraham Stansfield, were taken down and rebuilt in the Masons’ Arm’s garden next above the Viaduct beerhouse.

Turning up the Dulesgate valley, we find on the other side of the viaduct near the canal bridge two old blocks of houses which are nearly as old as the Black Bull Inn, they having been there before the new Dulesgate road was made, the old way up the Bacup road being by a narrow lane which led past the Black Bull. These buildings were also in position before the canal was made, and at the time when the river flowed down by where the lock is now, the lane going by the side of the river. At this junction of the road, canal, and river, there was some sixty years ago a considerable village, which has been very much altered in the course of time.

Over the canal bridge is the entrance to the road to PEXWOOD, or Stones-road, at which place John and Reuben Haigh, of PASTURESIDE and MOORCOCK, built the first block of houses in 1836, and at the bottom is the old “driving gate” or highway leading up past Watty Farm and on to Sourhall, etc.

   

The houses at Pexes built by the Haigh brothers in 1836, and below is Watty Farm.

 

   
   
On the left-hand side of the canal bridge was the lane behind the row of old cottages, which led to the entrance to Naze-road, and to the entrance to the Dulesgate-road before the alteration was made by the Haslingden and Todmorden trustees. This lane sixty years ago went by the name of “Alleluia-lane,” and thirty years later was rechristened by the name of Shipka Pass, after the sanguinary battle of that name in the war between the Turks and the Bulgarians.

Gauxholme from the Naze Road

   

Including this lane and omitting the canal towing-path, which, of course, has been used as a public thoroughfare always, there were thus no less than five high roads leading out of the old village of Gauxholme.

Higher up the road was WATTY MILL and Watty-place, which had been built before 1800 by Mr. Edward Dearden, known, known generally as “Old Dearden,” who had acquired the site and water rights from Mr. Robt. Hardman, of Todmorden, father of Dr. James Hardman. The corn mill was burnt down before 1820, and it is related that the heat from the fire was so intense that the door of Watty House opposite was set on fire. This has been told to the writer by Mr. Thos. Unsworth, of Knowlwood, who was a young man at the time of the fire. Mr. Dearden afterwards rebuilt the mill, and sold it to the Greenwoods of Harehill, together with the whole of the property in Watty village. Mr. Dearden retired from active work and took the Haugh House, on the road up to the UNION WORKHOUSE. The Greenwoods ran the mill and after 1830 they were also running the Gauxholme and STONESWOOD MILLS. Owing to some dispute about the toll house charges, the Greenwoods made a private road from the Watty mill to the canal wharf, and so evaded the payment of the toll which had hitherto been charged by the authorities. These same Greenwoods were also pretty extensive farmers in the district.

Watty in 2004

 

Further up the road, FRITHS MILL, then in the possession of Mr. Wm. Helliwell, was in full swing in 1840, the work having been very slack for a year or two before, during which time Mr. Helliwell employed his men in felling the timber in Friths Wood, and setting his men to stub the land and make it into a meadow. Milking Green cottages were also the property of this gentleman, another house being added about that time to the seven or eight which had previously been there. Above Frog Hole was another row of houses which Mr. Helliwell had built, which passed by the name of Brass Nob Row.

STONESWOOD, or more properly the Inchfield Pasture cotton mill, was another of the outside mills posses by the Fieldens of Waterside, the motive power of the mill being the Dulesgate stream. This mill had been run by James Stansfield Marshall (commonly called Jim o’ Mary’s), Charles Barker, and Luke Hamer, but on the latter’s death, the mill was bought by the Fieldens, and the original owners continued the manufacture of cotton pieces in their own houses. Higher up the road was the other STONESWOOD MILL, a corn mill of about the same age as the one at Gauxholme, which belonged to Mr. Hardman. This mill has been transformed into the works of Messrs. Sunderland and Mercer, and a row of modern cottages and houses has displaced the old cottages, which used to stand there.

Gorpley Mill

 

The GORPLEY MILL was built by the Madens of Bacup in 1805 on the extreme corner of their Gorpley estate, and was used as a raising place for their flannel pieces. This mill afterwards passed into the hands of Mrs. John Ormerod, of Todmorden-edge, whose sons afterwards improved it out of all knowledge several bays being added to the mill, and power looms installed, with the necessary steam power appliances, but soon after 1850 the machinery was removed, and the mill once again became derelict, and the materials of which it was built were sold by auction, and removed from the site.



photographs of White Hart Fold, Church St., Salford and Gorpley Mill

by kind permission of Roger Birch

 

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