Map Ref.  SD934219

Known occupiers


TRAVIS, fulling


INGHAM William, fulling


PARKIN Bell, corn


BOTTOMLEY Thomas, cotton


BAMFORD Thomas & Ann, corn


TRAVIS William, cotton


BAIRSTOW John, Matthew & James, corn


SMITH Edmund & Richard, corn






Converted to houses


Illustrated History


Inchfield Corn and Cotton Mill, which was demolished many years ago, used to occupy the corner plot of land at the bottom of Inchfield Road.


This mill was in existence in 1586 when George Travis purchased the Inchfield Estates from Lord Byron of Clayton Hall near Manchester. It was a fulling mill for finishing off the wool manufacturing process, worked by water wheel using water from the valley stream. George and Elizabeth Travis moved from Blackley near Manchester to live at Inchfield where they raised their family. George died intestate in 1605 and his widow died the following year. As time passed, Sarah Travis the daughter of John Travis of Inchfield, inherited the mill. She married Lawrence Newell of Lower Town House, Rochdale, in 1739 and the ownership of the mill remained in the Newell family until it was demolished.

When the wool trade died out in the area, the mill was used for grinding corn, and later for both corn and cotton in the same building.


In 1784, WILLIAM INGHAM was the fulling miller. He lived at the mill with his family and was responsible for the building of four of the cottages at SQUARE, just round the corner. He died in 1806, and the mill, now owned by Samuel Newell, was converted to corn milling.

Meanwhile, John Bottomley was the miller at GAUXHOLME CORNMILL. He died in 1787 leaving a widow and several small children. The widow, Mally Bottomley, continued to run the business at Gauxholme with the help of Bell Parkin, her carter. By and by, Mally and Bell Parkin became close, not just as colleagues, but in other ways. Despite a 20-year age gap (Bell was 20 years her junior), they married and moved together to Inchfield Mill.

Mally's son, Thomas Bottomley, took over part of the mill and converted it to a cotton carding and spinning business. Extra power was needed for this, so John Dawson was contracted to construct a dam for the storage of water in the meadow, below where Inchfield Villa stands. The corn business continued under Bell and Mally Parkin, and life carried on smoothly for the next few years until the 19th June 1822. On that day, Bell went to Manchester Corn Exchange, riding his own horse. On the way, as he was approaching the Woodcock Inn, an assailant accosted him, bludgeoned him from behind, and killed him. Mally, then aged 78, died at the mill shortly afterwards. They are buried together at St. Paul's Church at Cross Stone.

Thomas Bottomley had by then acquired sufficient capital to start up on his own, which he did, building SPRING MILL at Ramsden Wood. Mally Parkin was followed at the corn mill by her daughter and son-in-law, Thomas and Ann Bamford, and shortly afterwards they were joined by Ann's sister Sally and her husband William Travis who took over the cotton side of the business. William had worked previously at CLOUGH MILL in the carding and spinning departments. Sadly he died a young man in 1827. He was the last to run part of the mill as a cotton business, and following his death the whole mill reverted to corn.

Thomas Bamford also died and was succeeded for a time by his brother Isaac.

In 1830, John and James Bairstow, brothers of Hebden Bridge, took over the mill and worked as corn millers. They added a steam engine, boiler and chimney, raised the mill by a storey and put in a railway siding. The photo shows the site of the old yard and railway sidings.

In 1841, John Bairstow and family occupied a dwelling at the mill. He was the miller, and he had an assistant miller, John Lord, aged 20, also living at the mill with his mother and siblings. His mother, Alice Lord, ran a shop on the premises. There were also 2 carters: John Sutcliffe and family and William Butler and family, plus Hannah Walton, a dressmaker. There was also a journeyman corn miller living at Inchfield Fold Top who more than likely worked in the mill. He was Samuel Elsworth, aged 35.


The local authorities commissioned a survey of land in 1843. As far as Inchfield Mill was concerned, the survey concluded that the owner was W. N. Newell, the occupiers were J. and S. Bairstow, and the land comprised:


Kiln brink

Potato Croft

Shred, side of river

Little Holme

Hippings Holme


Great House

New Field

Round Bank


Little Brink

Barn Croft

Buildings and yard



Calf Hey

Nick Wood



The total acreage was 20 acres, 1 rod and 9 perches. This made it quite a large concern.

The Bairstow family gave up the tenancy about 1844, being succeeded by Richard Smith of Scaitcliffe Mill who carried on there until his death.

Whilst Richard was the occupier of the mill, a young man employed there had a nasty accident and a narrow escape. On Wednesday 20th June 1849, he was trying to free a sack of corn as it was being wound upwards by the crane. His hand became stuck in the machinery and he ended up being taken up with the sack to the top of the crane. He remained suspended up there until a fellow employee managed to rescue him. He was seriously injured, with his hand almost being torn off. However, he survived to tell the tale.

However, the following February, John Fielden of Square in Walsden wasn't quite so lucky. He died in a horrible accident, leaving 5 orphaned children. The inquest into his death was reported in the Leeds Mercury as follows:

The Leeds Mercury Saturday, February 23, 1850;

Melancholy Accident

A serious catastrophe took place on Saturday evening last, about half past eight o’clock, at the corn mill of Mr. Richard Smith, Walsden. It appears one of the millers named John Fielden, whilst attempting to uncouple the engine from the mill wheels, was, by some means, caught in the machinery, and so severely crushed that he only lived ten minutes after the occurrence. He has left a family of five orphans to lament his loss. An inquest was held on the body on Tuesday last before J. Dearden Esq. at the Hollings Inn, Walsden, when the verdict was, “Accidental death”.


In 1851, Richard Smith lived at Inchfield Villa, describing himself as a corn merchant employing 21 men. The miller was James Shore of Milnrow.

Interestingly, during the 1840's and 50's Thomas Fielden, a schoolmaster, also lived at the mill with his family, and so did his brother, Samuel. They were brothers of Robert and James Fielden, the picker makers of INCHFIELD FOLD and CLOUGH MILL respectively. Samuel moved to live in Manchester. In August 1850, he left his home one evening and was not heard of again until September 4th. when his body was found 9 miles down river from his home.


Inchfield Villa

Richard Smith died at Inchfield Villa in 1852. His brother Edmund succeeded him as corn merchant. In 1861, Edmund lived at Inchfield Villa with his family, whilst miller George Midgely and family were at the mill. Two other families lived at the mill in 1861: Ingham Sutcliffe, a corn miller's carter, and Thomas Mitchell, a domestic gardener. Edmund carried on the corn trade at Inchfield Mill until 1869.

During Edmund's time, there was a robbery at the mill. Two men were taken into custody on November 22nd. 1853, one of them with a quantity of oats in a sack on his back. This chap was sent to prison for 3 months. The other, Johnny Fielden, was released.

Then the mill stood derelict for a long time, the machinery was sold and the railway siding removed. In 1875, the dwelling houses were still occupied, as evidenced by the following letter from Samuel Haigh, kindly provided by Beverley Weston.


Inchfield Mill , Walsden May 8th 1875


Dear Mr. and Mrs. Watson

As I have not had any communication with you since you left England, I hope you will excuse me in sending you a few lines. I have not been able to get your address until just lately and our ?????? Mr. James Lord informed me that you desired me to send you a Todmorden Newspaper-I beg to do so and -at the same time-I hope you will give me a few lines in return please let me know what family you have got and how you are getting on in your distant Colony.


I visited London in 1874 to see brother Luke and wife and family I stopped there about 9 days and liked the place-Called Bexley Heath very well, it is distant from London about eleven miles-where there is excellent scenery.


We have left the Moorcock this last March-and returned to Inchfield Mill -Walsden-a place better adapted to our present family we have seven children alive five boys and two girls. I still have the old situation as Banksman at the Coal Pit hoping you will accept our best respects and give me a few lines in return.

I remain
yours most respectfully
Samuel Haigh

PS. Please-Address
Samuel Haigh
Inchfield Mill

About 1893, Thomas Mitchell, contractor, and Jonas Craven, caterer and confectioner, took the old mill and kiln under lease and converted the stone work into dwelling houses, arching over the river, and erected a shop and dwelling houses facing the main road. The photo shows these houses in 2005.
Soon afterwards , the Walsden Co-op erected a block of back to back houses with a butcher's shop and slaughter house, clog and shoe makers workshop, stables, cart shed etc. across the bottom of the Holme, opening out two new streets, Newell Street and Nelson Street. The photo shows Newell Street with Nelson Street running across the end. These dwellings would have had houses attached at the back, since demolished. They face the back of the houses in the photo above.
This photo is of Nelson Street in 2005, which it is believed to be the site of the butchers and slaughter house.



Additional information


researched, recorded and referenced by Mrs Sheila Wade

Hebden Bridge WEA Local History Group


Rochdale Manor Survey 1626

A faire messuage built with free stone, a walk mill and several closes of pasture and wood ground adjoining the River Roch, containing 15 acres 1 rood and 5 perches. George Travis holds by deed dated 20th February 1599/1600.

Land Tax Assessments 1784


Occupier William INGHAM

Tax 17s-2d

Land Tax Assessments 1786-1793


Occupier William INGHAM

Tax 16s-8d

Land Tax Assessments 1796 & 1797


Occupier William INGHAM

Tax 15s-4d

Land Tax Assessments 1803 & 1804

Owners Messrs. NEWELL

Occupier Bell PARKIN

Tax 4s-3d

Fielden family documents 1803

Survey of Rochdale Canal mentions Mr. Parkin of Inchfield Mill

Cromptons 1811 spindle enquiry

Travis Mill (no firm stated) 1080 spindles

Accounts books of Jeremiah Jackson

1815 – Thomas Bottomley, Travis Mill

1816 – Parkin and Bottomley, Travis Mill,

1820 – Bell Parkin, Inchfield Mill

Halifax Archives STA:222  1816-1821

Bell Parkin, Inchfield Mill, buys flour bags from Wilks, Stansfield Mill.

J. Leigh's Directory of Bury and Rochdale 1818

Thomas Bottomley, cotton spinners, Inchfield Mill

Baines Directory 1822

Bell Parkin, corn and flour dealers

Pigot and Deane Directory 1824-25

Thomas Bamford, corn dealers

Baines Directory 1825

Ann Bamford, corn millers and flour dealers

William Travis, cotton spinners

Pigot's Directory 1828-29

Ann Bamford, corn millers and flour dealers

Baines Directory 1828-29

William Travis, cotton spinners

Parson and White 1830

John Bairstow, corn millers and dealers

Pigot 1834

Matthew Bairstow, corn millers and dealers

HAS (1837)

Cragg Turnpike Trustee John Bairstow, Inchfield Mill

White's Directory 1842-43

John and James Bairstow, Inchfield, corn millers and maltsters.

List of Todmorden voters 30th July 1842

John Bairstow, living at Inchfield Mill, occupier of corn mill, Inchfield Mill

James Bairstow, living at Hebden Bridge Lanes, occupier of corn mill and land, Inchfield Mill.

White's Directory 1847

John and James Bairstow, Inchfield, corn millers and maltsters.

1851 census

Richard Smith, Inchfield, corn miller employing 21 people

White’s Directory 1853

Edmund Smith, corn millers.

Walsden Rates Book 1860-1869

Occupier Edmund Smith, owner W. N. Newell, Inchfield Mill, corn mill etc. Rateable value £137.13s.4d. (1866 corn mill power and railway RV £152.12s.0d.)

White’s Directory 1866

R. and E. Smith, Inchfield Mill, corn millers

Halifax Guardian 5th November 1870

To let. Corn mill at Inchfield, Walsden, worked by steam and water. 8 pairs of stones etc. Siding into Lancs and Yorks Railway line, now occupied by R. and E. Smith. Also dwelling house and farm. (Mr. Smith removing).

Walsden Rates Book 1870-81

Empty, owner J. N. Newell, Inchfield Mill, corn mill etc. Rateable value £152.12s.0d.

Walsden Rates Book 1893

Dilapidated. Owner J. N. Newell, Inchfield Mill, corn mill etc.