Martin Mill was situated by the side of the Oldham-Ripponden turnpike on the western flanks of the Tame valley, some 150ft above the valley bottom, and close to an outcrop of Holcombe Brook coal. There was no building here on the 1820 map, but a house called Martin stood near the site. Subsequently, probably around 1830 a brewery was built here by the Scholefield family. An 1834 Deed records the sale of “a brewery called Wood or Steelhouse, formerly in the occupation of Hugh Scholefield and now of Joseph Brierley, plus five acres of land” by Hugh Scholefield a Liverpool merchant and William and George Scholefield, both Liverpool brewers. They sold the premises to a Castleshaw clothier called Ben Wrigley.
Very soon after this the building must have been converted into a mill because an advertisement in the Manchester Guardian, on august 12th 1843 offered for sale “Brewery Mill in Saddleworth, a cotton mill and loom shed, with steam engine house and boiler house”. It was described as being late in the occupation of William Heginbottom & Bros cotton spinners and fustian manufacturers.(see also Horest Mill). The loom shed, 33yds x 23yds and mill, 20yds x 9yds were however left untenanted for a while. The fact that the Church Rates Book in 1845 lists John Carr as the occupier, and Ben Wrigley as the owner still, must have reflected a failure to dispose of the premises in 1843.
An 1851 Deed does indicate that John Milns of Parkhouse in Crompton, a gent, purchased “a messuage called Wood or Steelhouse, plus land, a weaving shed, a cotton mill and steam engine etc. in the occupation of Messers Carr and Briggs”
The 1852 Church Rates Book lists no occupier, and claims the owner to still be Ben Wrigley. In 1855 however, he sold the mill to John Greenhalgh of Martin Mill. The sale mentions “gas house, gasometer, and retorts, recently put in for supporting the said weaving shed with gas” Greenhalgh mortgaged the premises, in July 1855 to Peter Rothwell, of Hutch Bank, Haslingden and the Deed gives more details of the mill. It describes it as being “formerly used as a brewery but now converted into a factory or mill, and cottage. It was called Wood or Steelhouse formerly in the occupation of Hugh Scholefield, then Joseph Brierley, and now of John Greenhalgh”. The weaving shed is described as being “formerly in the occupation of Carr & Briggs”
Slater’s 1858 Directory lists John Greenhalgh as a cotton spinner of Brewery Mill, but in 1861 the mill was occupied by Thomas Briggs. Slater’s Directory refers to him as a cotton manufacturer, of Brewery Mill, Delph. He was still here in 1866 when White’s Directory lists him as a cotton doubler.
Wrigley mentions that the mill was used for making cotton and lace curtains, but by 1870 it was no longer rated as a mill. It soon became disused, and was demolished at some time between
All that now remains of the mill, is this overgrown millpond, on the south side of Ripponden Road, opposite where the mill once stood. (See map above). There are houses now, on the original site.