S.D. 982082

Carrcote Mill


Carrcote Mill was situated on the hillside, above the river Tame, about 600yds out of Delph along what is now Denshaw Road.


The original date of construction is unclear, but the mill was first mentioned in an Indenture Mortgage​​ in 1778. ​​ This Mortgage was between John Buckley, a clothier of Carrcote, and John and Thomas Haigh -, concerning a “messuage called Carrcote, or Carrhouse, and fields called Round Louke Field, Upper Butt, and the Meadow below the house; Lower Butt, Great​​ Holme and Little Holme, containing 12 acres, all now in the tenure of John Buckley, and that new erection part whereof is made use of for a Willow Mill at Carrcote, in the occupation of John Buckley, and one chamber of the said mill now used as a cottage​​ , now in the occupation of John Farrand”. ​​ There was a John Farrand, a fuller of Swainscroft who had interests in Linfitts Mill in the 1750s and 60s. Could this have been the same John Farrand?


Unfortunately John Buckley was bankrupt by 1779 and the mill​​ and cottage were put in trust to Joseph Mellor and Joseph Lawton of Delph, to sell before 5th​​ November 1779, on behalf of John Buckley.


An Indenture Lease of 1780 shows us that the mill now came into the hands of Abraham Whitehead, a clothier of Linthwaite. ​​ He was owner and occupier of the mill until 1801, when it was still known as a Willow Mill.


The 1820 map shows the mill but does not name it. ​​ The configuration of buildings is very​​ similar on the 1850 and 1890 maps.

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In 1801 this Willow Mill and cottage, plus other property was bought by James Mills who was a merchant and clothier. ​​ His tenure was short however and the​​ Pole family and others, who were “drysalters” from Manchester, took over the mill in 1803. The mill was sold on again in 1805 to Jonathon Clifton and John Roberts, who were clothiers.


Jonathon Clifton is referred to continuously in Directories until his death in 1862, as “a cloth dresser”, “a cloth finisher”, “a wool merchant and finisher” etc. During his ownership of the mill steam power was introduced in 1827. ​​ This was said to be the first use of steam power in Saddleworth. ​​ His ownership of the mill was confirmed in the Church Rates Book of 1835- but there is no ownership or occupation mentioned in 1852.​​ 

​​ It is at about this time that Robert Knowles appears on the scene. ​​ He is classed as a “scribbler and fuller” by White’s Directory of 1853, but was also “a druggist from Shaw”.


Perhaps the nature of the work now done at the mill changed, with hie influence, and by 1863 according to the Poll List he had become owner of the mill. ​​ Knowles continued in ownership of the mill, probably until his death when​​ Anthony Knowles appears to have become owner.


The mill seems to have come back to the Clifton family in 1871 when Jonathon Mallalieu Clifton bought the property from Anthony Knowles. ​​ J.M. Clifton was referred to in Directories as “a wool carder”, “a spinner and dyer”, so it would appear that the nature of the business at the mill was now more diverse. ​​ The mill employed 160, according to the 1871 Census, and Joseph Clifton, who by now appears in the Directories as “a flannel and shawl manufacturer”, would seem to confirm the development of a more integrated operation.


In 1880 Austin Ogden, of Hey in Saddleworth, bought “ the mill and fields, dyehouse, steam engine etc. plus messuages and shops near Delph Bridge”, from Jonathan Mallalieu Clifton.


In 1890 the mill was disused.​​ 

By this date the cottages opposite the mill had been built, probably for the workers at the mill​​ 

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The​​ 1885 Poll List states that the estate was bought by D. and H. Mallalieu, and by 1890 according to the O.S. map the mill is disused.


Ownership changed once more in 1891, when James Carter, who had been manufacturing hats at Old Hey moved his operation to​​ Carrcote. ​​ References to James Carter and hat manufacture continue until 1922.


There are few direct references to the mill after 1922 until it became known as Meadowbank Spinning Company in 1960, and then Carrcote Spinning Company in 1962.


By 1973 the mill had been demolished and all that now remains is the stump of the mill chimney, on the hillside behind the houses that have been built skirting Denshaw Road.

The last relic of Carrcote Mill can be found at the rear of ​​ 97a Denshaw ​​ Road. The lane​​ that served the mill runs off the main road at the side of the garden of the same address.

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