Westwood Mill, Linthwaite



Date Visited: December 2008

A brief visit to this place, predominantly due to being spotted by workmen outside. Might be worth a re-visit if I'm in the vicinity, but not worth travelling to.

The mill is believed to be the earliest surviving woollen mill in the Colne Valley. It was originally powered by water from the adjacent mill pond. The earliest part of the building was a scribbling mill that was built in 1798 when the adjacent canal was built. Other buildings include a Carding and Fulling Mill, office, warehouse, workshops, boiler and engine house.

This building is Grade 2 listed and shows different phases of construction over a long period. It was originally powered by water from the adjacent mill pond, the waterwheel that powered the mill was replaced in 1920 by an 85hp water turbine manufactured by William Gunther and Sons, Oldham which appears to be still on site. I'm unsure of it's recent history.

A detailed description from here:

Warehouse and workshop range. Early C19 with later alterations. Coursed hammer dressed gritstone laid to diminishing courses; stone slate roofing and glazed roof lights largely removed. Turned back kneelers. 3 storeys and 7 bays built parallel to the towpath of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. South elevation: to mill yard, entrance far left with plain jambs and the line of the lintel above the first floor door continues as a band over the windows. The almost-square windows have plain lintels and sills but lack jambs; those to ground floor are blocked by coursed stone rubble and the ground and first floors of bays 5, 6 and 7 are obscured by a C20 electricity substation. The central bay of the second and third floors has a large pointed arched window, probably taling-in doors, with plain stone surrounds. This range post-dates the west fulling mill and the wall line was adjusted to meet the line of the window mullions of the earlier building, creating a tier of 'squints' in the corner. North elevation; to canal, only the lintel of the blocked opening near ground level in bay 4 appears to be an original opening; a semi-circular stair tower projects far right and rises to first floor level only. Ground floor; blocked doorway with plain stone lintel and jambs bay 3, flanked by two windows to left and one to right. First floor; wide window with re-used stone surround above the entrance; larger window with rock-faced ashlar detailing similar to those on ground floor far left. Two circular tie-bar plates at first floor level a three at first floor level. The stonework changes at the top storey suggest that the building may well have been raised. East gabled elevation; the original 2- and 3-light mullioned windows were altered to form loading doors to each storey. INTERIOR; not inspected.
HISTORY; John Shaw built a fulling and scribbling mill, now the west range, in c1800 and it is likely that there was an office or warehouse building here before the Huddersfield Narrow Canal was opened in 1811. The present structure probably dates from the 1820's when John, Jonathan and Eli Shaw took over the business and made alterations to the mill. The lack of fenestration on the canal side suggests a concern for security, while the large windows on the south side would have provided light for the unpacking and sorting of wool, and for the checking and repairing of woven pieces.