Hope Street


Map Ref. SD 941241


Plan of Halifax Road mills, prepared by W. L. Sandbach

about 1920 for insurance purposes.


It is now near impossible to sort out the complex of mills that developed on the once open land between the main road to Halifax, previously known as Roomfield Lane, and the canal. There were no streets, just open land, meadow and fields. The first to be built were ALBION MILL and CANAL STREET WORKS in 1839. The rest followed on over the next 30 years. One large complex of mills was a solid block, consisting of ANCHOR MILL, FEATHERS MILL, HOPE STREET MILL, CROFT MILL and STACKHILLS MILL as can be seen from the above diagram, each built at different times with one added on to the other as extensions.


Known occupiers




SUTCLIFFE James, Edwin & Sugden

SUTCLIFFE Sugden & James William


SANDBACH William Lacy


Dorma Sheets Ltd.

Demolished 2005.


Illustrated history

Hope Street Mill was built about 1860, possibly by John Cockcroft of CROFT MILL. It was sited to the rear of Croft Mill, built a little earlier, with Stackhills Weaving Sheds immediately behind and Anchor Mill to one side. The entrance was on Hope Street off Halifax Road, then known as Roomfield Lane.

The first known occupiers were partners John Marshall and Charles Crabtree. Charles Crabtree, born in 1832 in Eastwood, was a self-made man. His father was a handloom weaver, and Charles began his working life also on the handloom, later working as a power-loom weaver in Eastwood. He worked for a short while as an overlooker at Nanholme Mill for Barker Sutcliffe before launching himself as an employer with his partner, John Marshall, on 23rd December 1860. They began in a small way with a few looms at Burnt Acres where they employed 7 hands, and then about 1868 they moved to Hope Street.

Charles Crabtree by kind permission of

Ian Crabtree


In 1870 the partnership was dissolved and Charles Crabtree continued alone, finishing at Hope Street that same year with 112 looms. He then moved next door to Anchor Mill.

1876 saw the arrival at Hope Street Mill of Sugden Sutcliffe. He was born in 1851, the illegitimate son of Sarah, a cotton reeler from Heptonstall. He lived with his mother at Popples Side in Heptonstall until she married Greenwood Saville, a joiner. Greenwood and Sarah settled at White Platts in Todmorden with their children Olive and George Greenwood, and of course Sugden. They were there in 1871 at a time when Sugden was employed as the head warehouseman for Caleb Hoyle at Derdale Mill. He was just 20 years old and destined for greater things. He married Sarah Ann Sutcliffe on 19th Apr 1873 at the Salem Chapel, Hebden Bridge, and went on to have four daughters, Elizabeth, Annie, Beatrice and Florence.


Sarah Ann was the daughter of James Sutcliffe and Betty Crowther, born in 1853 in Langfield. Her brother James William Sutcliffe was to play an important role in Sugden's life. He was born at Oldroyd in Langfield in October 1861.


Sugden Sutcliffe

Family tradition has it that Sugden and his father-in-law James Sutcliffe joined forces and rented space from Caleb Hoyle at Derdale Mill under the Room and Power system, whereby they paid rent for a space and power within the mill, providing their own looms and necessary equipment, staff and workers. This would have been quite soon after Sugden's marriage to Sarah Ann, and gave Sugden the opportunity to earn enough money to start a business in a mill of his own.


This he did, in partnership with his cousin Edwin Sutcliffe and his father-in-law, at Hope Street Mill in about 1876, starting with just 90 looms in the weaving shed. By 1881, Sugden and his family are living at 14 Industrial Street, a modest terraced house in Todmorden, and he describes himself as a cotton manufacturer. He and his partners employed 47 people. His father-in-law and family were a few doors up at number 24.

14 Industrial Street (red door)


Cousin Edwin left the partnership to set up on his own, and was replaced by Sugden's brother-in-law, James William Sutcliffe. James William had been employed as a cotton twister until joining Sugden in the business.


Fortunes changed for Sugden and Hope Street Mill, going from strength to strength. The partnership was known as S. and J. W. Sutcliffe, the old man James having bowed out by now. During the 1880's, they bought two neighbouring factories, Anchor and Sandholme Sheds. By 1891 they had 639 looms working between the three factories, with a warehouse in Manchester at 35, Spring Gardens.



The modest terraced houses on Industrial Street were abandoned by the Sutcliffes in favour of more grand establishments. Sutcliffe built a villa and called it Glenroyd House. He is there with his family in 1891, looked after by a domestic servant, and in 1901 they have a cook and a housemaid.

James William had married Betsey Fielden in 1883 and they had one daughter, Emily. He built Stansfield Villa where they made their home.

Both men were widowed and remarried. Sugden to Elizabeth Suthers in 1902, and James William to Florence Walker, also in 1902. James William and Florence produced another 4 children before he died at Stansfield Villa on 12th. December 1914 aged 53. He is buried at St. Paul's Church at Cross Stone.

In addition to his untiring work at the three mills, Sugden found time to serve the people of Todmorden on the Local Council. No doubt this enhanced his credibility in the business world and provided plenty of useful contacts. He was a District Councillor, and when Todmorden first became a Municipal Borough in 1896, he was elected as a Councillor to represent the Stansfield Ward. He gained the most votes in his ward, having won 384 votes to 379 for Caleb Hoyle and 343 to J.I. Sutcliffe of Stansfield Hall. Sugden became an Alderman and represented his ward for many years.

He was also a Trustee of Mankinholes Wesleyan Chapel from 1891, and was a benefactor of the newly erected York Street Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in 1906, his name being engraved on one of the foundation stones.

Sugden retired from the business in 1916, but rather than completely retire, he returned to work for Caleb Hoyle of Derdale Mill as his representative in the Manchester Market. He died at Prestwich near Manchester on 8th. September 1925 aged 74.

Hope Street Mill was purchased by W.L. Sandbach Ltd. towards the end of the 1800's along with the adjoining CROFT MILL, Feathers Mill and ANCHOR MILL. William Lacy Sandbach continued well in to the 20th Century, producing bedspreads and other similar items on 800 looms. By 1964, Carrington Viyella had bought the mills, and then sold out to P.J. Flowers & Co. Ltd in 1993. This firm invested £1,000,000 in the mill, employing over 100 machinists in making up home textiles such as bedding for sale in department stores.


The mills were demolished in 2005 and nothing remains.



Additional information

researched, recorded and referenced by Mrs Sheila Wade

Hebden Bridge WEA Local History Group


Langfield Rates Book 1880-83

Occupiers S. Sutcliffe & Co. owner John Cockcroft; shed and warehouse; Roomfield Lane; rateable value £33.


Halifax Courier 12th Feb 1881

Partnership dissolved between Sugden Sutcliffe & Co. Todmorden, cotton manufacturers, as regards W. Sutcliffe.


Todmorden Advertiser 9th May 1884

Wanted – experienced loom tackler. Apply S. Sutcliffe & Co. Hope Street shed, Roomfield Lane.


Todmorden Advertiser 15th August 1884

Looms to be sold or let: - 80 at Hope Street Shed, and 88 at Salford Mill. Apply Sugden Sutcliffe & Co. Hope Street shed.


Todmorden Advertiser 19th September 1884

Auction 24th September by Mr. Smith Starkie on instructions from Sugden Sutcliffe & Co. at Hope Street Mill: - 67 looms (41 inch reed space by Lord Brothers and 4 by Richard Stansfield); cloth press; winding on frame; plaiting machine etc.

Manchester Examiner 22nd July 1887

Sandholme and Hope Street Mills, 400 looms running full time.


Slater 1887

S. and J.W. Sutcliffe, manufacturers of cotton goods


Worrell 1891

S. and J.W. Sutcliffe, Sandholme, Anchor and Hope Street Sheds, 639 looms, wigans, domestics, sheetings, twills etc. Manchester warehouse 35, Spring Gardens.


Kelly 1893

S. and J.W. Sutcliffe, Sandholme and Roomfield Lane, cotton manufacturers.


“Views and Reviews” 1896

S. and J.W. Sutcliffe, cotton manufacturers of SANDHOLME and ANCHOR sheds started modestly 20 years ago. S. Sutcliffe in partnership with his father-in-law J. Sutcliffe started in Hope Street Shed with 90 looms. Mr. Sutcliffe’s brother-in-law J.W. Sutcliffe eventually became the second partner.

Kelly 1908

William Lacy Sandbach, Hope Street and Salford Mills, cotton manufacturer.