Shore Mill also known as Willey Mill
The mill still stands, almost in its original state, at a bend in the Tame some 100yds down stream from Delph Bridge. The mill race still flows beneath the building, and continues alongside and above the river to the Rasping Mill some 250yds downstream.
Wrigley described it in “Those were the days”----
“There was a home in the mill, with living room, parlour and kitchen”
It was therefore little different from a three-storied domestic weaver’s house, common in the area, except that it had a water wheel
It was originally established as a “Willey mill” for teasing raw wool prior to scribbling. The earliest reference is in a Deed dated July 1782, which confirmed its building on land belonging to the Whiteheads of Delph. (See eagle Mill) Deeds report that there was------
“ a close with Willey Mill thereon situate at the south end of the bridge at Delph and now called the Green, containing ½ acre, a weir, goit etc. and now in the hands of John Farrand”
John Farrand was described as a labourer of Delph, and he was occupier of the mill until 1784. In that year John Whitehead released the mill to John Harrop, the younger, of Dobcross for £40. By a further transaction later in the same year ¼ share was released to Joseph Lawton, and a further ¼ share to Thomas Buckley ,both for £20. This same trio had interests in Rasping and Gatehead Mills.
By 1802, the mill was being used for cotton, and Deeds refer to “1/4 part of cotton mill or engine, called Shore Engine, formerly in the occupancy of James Buckley and his partner, now in the occupancy of James Lawton and Robert Mellor”
In 1807, Robert Mellor, a cotton spinner, was the recorded occupier, and just one year later James Lees had acquired a ¼ interest in the mill. (See Rasping Mill)
By 1811 however Wrigley is referring to Robert Mellor as a scribbler, and by 1814, Wardle, Bentham and E. Buckley - cotton spinners - are at the mill.
Edmund Buckley occupied the mill in 1815, at a time when ¾ of the shares were surrendered by John Harrop to Abraham Scholefield of Bleakheynook – a merchant.
There is a reference to a Robert Shellerand being occupant in 1824 and Edmund Buckley in 1825. Buckley also had interests in Lumb and Rasping Mills at this time.
In 1832 James Lees of Delph Lodge sold his ¼ share to James Bradbury, a woolstapler from New Delph. Edmund Buckley was still tenant at this time, and he was still there in 1835 according to the Church Rates Book.
By 1845 Robert Hastings was working it as a scribbling mill, and by 1852 Hastings Bros. were using the premises as a warehouse.
There is uncertainty for the next 20 years or so, but occupancy is probably paralleled by that of Rasping Mill, with which Shore Mill had such close connections – not least of which was a reliance on the same water supply.
In1870 the Rateable Value was £17/12/0.
Joseph Shaw & Co. were occupants between 1871 and 1891, again at a time when the company had interests at Rasping and Warth Mills.
Armitage and Rhodes, wool carders, also had some interest in the mill in 1889 as an extension of their production at Eagle Mill.
This photograph was taken in 1998