Deeds are rather confusing about this mill. Indeed there appears to have been two mills on different sites. One seems to have been disused and converted into cottages as early as 1814. In February of that year James Milns of Heyhouse turned over to his son James Milns of the Junction Inn, his half share in the “plot of land called Marsh or Marsh Bottom together with the cottages erected there, formerly used as a scribbling mill”, including a dam and weir etc. “and a strip of land for the purpose of a reservoir at the bottom of the field called The Hey field, between Brimey Croft and Coldgreave Pasture”. The other half share was owned by Joseph Milns (or Mills) of Marshbottom, who turned it over to James Milns later the same month. The inference is perhaps that Milns built the mill possibly around 1800. A later Deed mentions the “liberty to take water from Cherry Clough”.
The site of the mill is clearly shown on this 1820 map, as is the proximity of Lump Holes Mill.
By 1815 James Milns had built a new mill which he mortgaged to Matthew Thornton. This consisted of “a plot of land, part of a close called Lower Meadow near Brimeycroft…… bounded on the south end by the Highroad between New Hey and Huddersfield, containing 309sq. yds plus the new erection, used or intended to be used as a wool and scribbling mill, together with the rasping machines”. The mortgage also included Lump Holes Mill.
The new mill survived until the 1870s, but comparatively little information can be uncovered about its history. The Church Rates Book of 1835 lists the mill as “one of the smallest mills in Saddleworth, with a rateable value only a little over £7. It gives the owner as William Milns and William Heginbottom was the occupier.
The 1841 Census lists John Whitehead, a dyer, under Marsh Bottom, but this may well have referred to his abode rather than the mill. The 1845 O.S.map claims it disused, and the 1852 Church Rates Book does not list an occupier, and the owner are assignees of William Milns.
According to the Reporter, in an article of 1907, the occupier of the mill in the late 1850s was William Henry Shaw.
By 1866 the mill is definitely in the hands of Edmund Butterworth & Sons of Denshaw Vale when the mill was described as it had been in 1815. There were also further details, “Formerly used as a scribbling mill, formerly in the occupation of James Milns the younger, then William Milns his brother, then John Milns, and now of James Shaw”. The building was also included “with water wheel, steam boiler, new 9 h.p. steam engine plus connecting gear to the water wheel; a 12h.p. boiler and small donkey engine for feeding the boiler.
The inference here is that steam engines were installed in the late 1850s or 60s. When writing about the mill in 1870, Wrigley says that the mill was formerly a rasping mill which later made flannel and felt hat bodies. It is clear that Butterworths also owned the site of the original mill.
In 1872 Butterworths disposed of the mill, including the site of the old mill, to Oldham Corporation. The mill was demolished soon aterwards.
The road to New Hey climbs up the hill out of Denshaw. Where it swings left, a small water sub station stands on the site of Marsh Bottom Mill.