Moorcroft Wood Mill also known as Little Mill
This mill was situated on the hillside of the Castleshaw valley, just above Johnny Mill, in the area known as Wood. The lily covered millpond is today protectively fenced of, and the only remaining evidence of what was once the site of one of the smallest purpose built mills in the area.
Documentary evidence is sparse, but the Manchester Mercury of October ninth 1804 advertises the sale by auction of the leasehold estate of James Mills, a bankrupt, which included Moorcroft Fulling Mill, “in the occupation of John Ogden, as tenant, from year to year”.
The next mention of the mill is in a Deed dated August1808, by which Robert Whitehead the younger, of Saddleworth (the eldest child of Henry and Mary Whitehead, deceased) released Moorcroft Wood Estate to various members of the Milns family, of Butterworth in Rochdale including “the mill used for carding sheep’s wool, situated in the close called Pantail at Moorcroft Wood, in the occupation of Joseph Scholefield”.
The estate and mill were in turn released by the Milns to James Wrigley of Delph in 1813. The mill is shown on the 1820 map as Moorcroft wood Mill, and Wrigley refers to it in 1822 as Little Cote Mill.
In 1826 Edmund Wrigley of Knowle, released to Benjamin Wrigley of Ridge, “messuages at Moorcroft Wood, in the tenure of Samuel Mills, and a mill for carding wool, in a close called Pantail, late in the occupation of Joseph Scholefield and now of Edmund and Benjamin Wrigley.
It would appear that the mill was shared between Samuel Wrigley of Knowle, a merchant, and Benjamin Wrigley of Castleshaw, and Benjamin Wrigley of Knowle in the late 1820s. The latter emigrated to Philadelphia U.S.A. and sold his interest to John Gudgeon, an innkeeper of Crompton.
By 1891 the mill had gone.
According to the 1835 Church Rates book Edmund Wrigley was the owner and occupier of Moorcroft Wood Mill. Benjamin Wrigley appears to be the owner in 1845, with John Schofield as occupier. There are many definite
references to the mill in several Directories between 1838-52.
All that is now left of Moorcroft Wood Mill is the millpond, elevated on the hillside above the site of Johnny Mill.