Map Ref. SD 946202

Quarry Cottages with the weaving sheds to the left


Known occupiers




Building on site Walsden map


STEPHENSON John & Robert




Warland Commercial Co.



1879 - 1880





Permanently unoccupied





John Fielden was the farmer at Warland in the late 1700's, paying rent of 10s.9d to John Ingham, who may have been a tenant himself. On his death in 1807, the lease passed to his son, also John.


Notes from John Travis, contemporary historian:

The speed of the flow of Walsden Water made a perfect power source for a waterwheel, so John junior built himself a small mill next to the river at the bottom of the hill. He became a fustian manufacturer as well as shepherd. The yarn was prepared and spun at the mill before being put out to local hand weavers.

A man who used to work for John on a Saturday, taking in the woven cloth and packing it into bundles ready for market, said they always loaded the bundles on a Sunday morning when Veevers boat came up from Todmorden, and that after this was done, John would get ready to attend St. Mary’s church in the afternoon.

For a long time John had pleaded poverty to all who would listen, announcing he was lucky to get sixpence a cut for his cloth, but somehow managed to earn enough to buy the estate. On hearing this, his brother Nicholas said, "Well, our John has laid out those sixpences well".

John and Robert Stevenson of Quarry Cottages, Walsden, obtained the lease of land, part of the Warland Estate, and built a small weaving shed powered by water from the Canal Company’s works above. They made a reservoir at the head of the clough in Warland Wood and piped the water down to the bottom. A turbine wheel was used to drive the looms.

In 1845, the following advert appeared:


Auction by Mr. Abraham Stansfield at the house of Mr. George Eccles at White Hart Inn in Todmorden on Thursday 25th March 1845 at 7 o’clock in the evening.

All that freehold estate called Warland in the several townships of Todmorden & Walsden and Blatchinworth & Calderbrook (which adjoin each other) ......

...... The above estate is freehold in inheritance and exempt from tithe, is situate at a distance of about 3 half miles from the town of Todmorden and 2 and a quarter from Littleborough, and adjoins the turnpike road leading between those places. It is intersected by Warland Clough, which conveys the water from an extensive reservoir lately constructed by the Rochdale Canal Company in the vicinity of this property. The extent or fall is very considerable, being estimated at more than (?) yards, and the Canal Company is under an engagement with the mill owners of the neighbourhood to provide a constant supply of water that will fill a gange 32 half inches by 3 half inches already fixed in the clough. The power that may be realised is computed at 37 horses.

The land also presents eligible sites for manufacturies, cottages and other buildings, being intersected by the Rochdale Canal and Todmorden turnpike road, to which latter it has frontage of 198 yards on one side and 68 yards on the other. Thus the facilities of transit both by land and water and the other advantages connected with the property combine to render it in every respect eligible for a capitalist, who is desirous of embarking in some branch of manufacture.


After John Fielden finished, the next known occupiers of Quarry Mill were brothers John and Robert Stevenson, sons of James Stevenson of Quarry Cottages at Warland. John and Robert were not the men who took on the lease following the above advertisement in 1845. They did not enter the world of cotton manufacture until about 1860. It is likely to have been their uncles, also John and Robert Stevenson, who took on the original lease and built the mill. They were stone merchants running the quarry at Warland, but were never recorded on census returns as being in the cotton business.


Ruins of the weaving sheds


Additional information

partly researched, recorded and referenced by Mrs Sheila Wade

Hebden Bridge WEA Local History Group


1824 Baines Directory

John Fielden, Warland Mill, cotton spinner & manufacturer


Walsden Rates Book 1860-61

Owned and occupied by J. & R. Stevenson, shed, wheel race, power etc. Warland Gate, rateable value £30.9s.3d.

1861 census:

Robert Stevenson, Gate End, warehouseman

John Stevenson, Top of Close, cotton manufacturer employing 23 people

Todmorden and Hebden Bridge Advertiser 18th Jan 1862

Bankrupt 12th Oct 1861. John and Robert Stevenson, Walsden, cotton manufacturers, dealers and chapmen.

Walsden Rates Book 1862

Occupier John Mellor, owners J. & R. Stevenson, shed, wheel race, power etc. Warland Gate, rateable value £30.9s.3d.

White 1866

John Mellor, cotton manufacturer

Walsden Rates Book 1863-65

Owned and occupied by John Mellor, shed, power etc. Warland Gate, rateable value £31.2s.7d.

Walsden Rates Book 1866-1868

Occupied by John Mellor & sons, owned by John Mellor, shed and power etc. Quarry Mill, rateable value £42.14s.0d.

Walsden Rates Book 1869

Two-thirds empty, owned by John Mellor, shed and power etc. Quarry Mill, rateable value £42.14s.0d.

Walsden Rates Book 1870-75

Occupier Warland Commercial Co. owner Robert Stevenson, shed and power etc, Quarry Mill, rateable value £43.10s.0d.

1871 census:

Robert Stevenson, Claremont (Warland), cotton manufacturer and yarn agent.

Halifax Guardian 21 August 1875

Petty Sessions Thursday

Robert Stephenson, manufacturer of Walsden, was fined 5s for allowing his hens to stray upon and damage the herbage of Robert Howard, a farmer.

Slater 1875

Warland Commercial Company, (Walsden Mill), cotton spinners & manufacturers

Walsden Rates Book 1876

Occupier Thomas Scholfield, owner Robert Stevenson, shed and power, Quarry Mill, rateable vale £43.10s.0d.

Walsden Rates Book 1879

Occupier William Gabbott, owner Robert Stevenson, shed and power, Quarry Mill, rateable value £43.10s.0d.

Todmorden and Hebden Bridge Advertiser 1st Aug 1879, Quarry Mill; 70 looms; shortly re-opening

Halifax Courier 23rd Aug 1879

Quarry Mill, Walsden, re-opened after entire stoppage.

Walsden Rates Book 1880

Occupied by William Gabbott, owned by Robert Stevenson, shed and power, Quarry Mill, rateable value £53.


Factory Act Prosecutions

4th November 1880

William Gabbott, cotton manufacturer, Quarry Mill near Walsden

2 Cases heard before Abraham Ormerod, George Hinchcliffe and Thomas Riley Esqrs at Todmorden Town Hall.

Employing a person under 16 beyond the prescribed time without certificate of fitness

Penalty of £1.10s.0d and costs of 12s.6d

Not keeping a register as prescribed – Penalty of £1 and costs of 12s.6d.

Walsden Rates Book 1881

Empty, owned by Robert Stevenson, shed and power, Quarry Mill, rateable value £50.10s.0d.

Walsden Rate Book 1883

Permanently unoccupied, owner Robert Stevenson, shed and power, Quarry Mill

Halifax Courier 6th Sept 1884

From Gauxholme to Quarry Mill, Walsden, 12 mills and sheds closed.

10th February 1887

Warland estate was divided into Lots to be sold at auction on 10th. February 1887 at the Reed Hotel, Yorkshire Street, Rochdale. The advertisement poster is transcribed below:

Lot 2

A Perpetual Yearly rent of £24 payable in respect of 2 plots of land in Walsden containing together 2 acres, 2 rods, 27 perches (parts being now the sites of a weaving shed and reservoir)