Map Ref SD907262


photo by mrrobertwade under the



Known occupiers




SMITH Joshua Ltd.


Alan COOPER, office furniture


Additional information

mainly researched, recorded and referenced by Mrs Sheila Wade Hebden Bridge WEA Local History Group


Notes from John Travis, contemporary historian:

Heap and Ashworth, from Bacup and Rossendale, worked at CALDERVALE weaving shed throughout the depression of the cotton famine. After 4 or 5 years there, they built a weaving shed for 400 looms and a carding and spinning mill at Frostholme, near the Waggon & Horses, Redwaterfoot and moved there from Caldervale. They had a long run of prosperity. Later extensions included another shed for 300 looms. After the death of Mr. Heap, James Ashworth sold out to a Burnley firm who have made more extensions.


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Todmorden Rates Book 1861

Owner Heap, Ashworth & Co; shed etc; 169 looms at 11hp; Frost Hole; rateable value £5.14s.0d.


Todmorden Rates Book 1862-65

Owned and occupied by Heap, Ashworth & Co; mill, shed etc; 11hp; Frost Hole; rateable value £113.19s.10d.

1864 – additional 6hp £10.


Todmorden Rates Book 1866-67

Owned and occupied by Heap, Ashworth & Co; mill, shed etc; 17hp; Frost Hole; rateable value £124.8s.0d.

1867 – powerloom shed £69.10s.6d.


White 1866

Heap & Ashworth, Frostholme, cotton manufacturers


29th June 1868

First cotton put through the scutcher at Frostholme Mill


Todmorden Rates Book 1868-79

Owned and occupied by Heap & Ashworth; mill, shed etc; 17hp; Frostholme; rateable value £204.16s.6d.

1871 – new warehouse etc. £60.12s.0d.


Kelly 1871

Heap & Ashworth, Frostholme & Calder Vale Mills, cotton spinners & manufacturers


1871 census

John Heap, Sun Terrace, aged 26, cotton manufacturer, partner in firm employing 200 hands.


Slater 1875

Heap & Ashworth, Cornholme Mill, cotton spinners & manufacturers.


Halifax Guardian 6th July 1878

Heap & Ashworth, Frostholme Mill, now working with a reduction of 10% in wages.


Halifax Guardian 20th July 1878

200 weavers at Heap & Ashworth, Frostholme Mill, were on strike against the proposed reduction in wages of 6% to 10%.


Halifax Guardian 22nd February 1879

Hands employed by Heap & Ashworth, Frostholme Mill, commenced work at a reduction of 7½%.


Todmorden and Hebden Bridge Advertiser 1st August 1879

Frostholme Mill, Heap & Ashworth, 7,650 spindles, 305 looms, working 3½ days.


Halifax Courier 23rd August 1879

Heap & Ashworth, Caldervale and Frostholme Mills, wages reduced a further 1d per cut (7½%). There are 200 hands. 7650 spindles and 520 looms.


Todmorden Rates Book 1880-81

Owned and occupied by Heap & Ashworth; mill, shed etc; 17hp; Frostholme; rateable value £242.10s.0d.

1881 – rateable value £212.5s.0d.


Halifax Courier 9th September 1882

Sale report – Frostholme Mill, Cornholme, with engine house, boiler house etc. Premises owned and occupied by Heap & Ashworth, cotton spinners. Site contains 7,200 square yards. Last bid £4,000 by Mr. Crabtree of Walk-mill Cliviger, withdrawn.


Halifax Courier 11th November 1882

Frostholme Mill recently purchased by Mr. Smith of Burnley being fitted up with looms.


Halifax Courier 7th April 1883

Todmorden trade very depressed. C. Smith of Frostholme has taken steps to reduce production.


The winding room at Frostholme, about 1912,

by kind permission of Malcolm & Freda Heywood


Factory Act prosecutions 1st Nov 1883

Joshua Smith cotton mfr of Frostholme near Todmorden

Case heard before Abraham Ormerod and J. Ingham

Employing a child before and after 10 o’clock on the same day on September 19th 20th and 21st

Penalty of £1 and £1.5s.0d costs


Halifax Courier 12th January 1884

Smith of Frostholme Mill and Burnley given notice of proposed reduction of weavers’ wages of 5%.


Halifax Courier 26th July 1884

Mr. C. Smith of Oakley House, Cornholme, cotton manufacturer, treated his hands to a trip to Blackpool in celebration of his recent marriage.


Todmorden Advertiser 17th October 1884

Frostholme Shed, J. Smith & Sons, to be enlarged to take 400 more looms.


Halifax Courier 16th May 1885

Frostholme Mill finding employment for a large number of operatives.


Todmorden Rates Books 1885-95

Owned and occupied by Joshua Smith & Sons; loomshed and steam power; Frostholme; rateable value £238.5s.0d.

1895 – rateable value £735.10s.0d.


Halifax Courier 9th January 1886

New shed at Frostholme for Smith & Sons erected last year.


Halifax Courier 20th March 1886

J. Smith & Sons, Frostholme Mill, advanced wages by 5% (amount of reduction made 12 months ago)


Slater 1887

Joshua Smith, Frostholme, cotton goods


Manchester Examiner 22nd July 1887

Frostholme Shed, 1,050 looms running full time.


A weaving shed at Frostholme about 1912, by kind permission of Malcolm & Freda Heywood


Yorks Factory Times

5th July 1889

Breakdown stoppage at Frostholme Mill – In consequence of a breakdown at the mill of Messrs J. Smith and Co. of Frostholme, the hands had a three-day stoppage last week. A goodly number of the weavers at this place are members of the Todmorden Weavers’ Association, and they took advantage of the funds given to hands that are stopped through breakdown. Over £30 was distributed to the weavers at this place, and if the concern were stopped for a full week through a breakdown it would absorb £50. This shows that the membership of the Association is very strong at Frostholme Mill.


Yorks Factory Times

6th Sept 1889

A Dispute Settled – The weavers in the employ of Messrs. J. Smith and Co., of Frostholme Shed, have recently been agitating for some alteration of their wages, and an arrangement has been come to by which the matters are for the present settled. However, it is stated by the weavers that the alteration in the rate of wages only affects one portion of them, and that others are going on as before.


Kelly 1893-97

Joshua Smith Ltd. Frostholme Mill, cotton manufacturers.


Stansfield Rates Book 1894-97

Owned and occupied by Joshua Smith & Sons; part new warehouse etc; Frostholme; rateable value £23.5s.0d.


17th January 1896

A few minutes before 5 o’clock on the morning of this date, Cornholme was the scene of a most destructive fire, which resulted in the destruction for the most part of the most completely furnished and handsome mills to be found within a wide area. The scene of the disaster was the fine new mill erected by Messrs. Joshua Smith Ltd. cotton manufacturers. Frostholme Mill, situated at Redwaterfoot, and at the time of the calamity nearly 700 hands were engaged by the firm, exclusive of half-timers. The watchman was on the premises at the time, and he at once set about to raise the alarm, in which he was ably assisted by the driver and stoker of a pilot engine, which was passing on the railway just at the time. The engine was stopped and the whistle blown furiously to arose people out of their beds in the greatest alarm. The illumination caused by the great fire could be seen for miles around, and was noticed at Todmorden long before the alarm was made. Thousands of persons visited the scene of the ruins on the Friday and Saturday, and on the Sunday following it was computed that not fewer than 40,000 persons visited Cornholme for the purpose of seeing the ruins. The damage, including stock, was estimated at £40,000.


31st January 1896

On account of the recent fire at Frostholme Mill , Messrs Smith & Sons lost no time  in arranging for carrying on their business in the meantime. The firm succeeded in securing the lower portion of LINEHOLME SHED and Springwood Mill. 884 looms were removed to Lineholme where some portion commenced running on the morning of this date, the women and young persons working in the day time, and the men in the night.


24th July 1896

A shocking accident happened at noon on this day, at the chimney just completed in connection with the erection of new premises for Messrs. Joshua Smith, Frostholme Mill, Cornholme, in place of those destroyed by fire in January last. Mr. Henry Charles Sefton, 27 years of age, of Queen Street, Cobden, Todmorden, who had acted as leading brick layer since work started in connection with the chimney, whilst working near the top filling up the scaffolding holes in the chimney, the wire broke and he fell to the bottom, a distance of about 36 yards, and was killed instantly. A great amount of sympathy was shown towards the deceased’s family and the widow and 2 young children he had left. A subscription list was started on behalf of the widow and children immediately after the sad fatality. The collectors chiefly confined their operations to the Burnley Valley, and the handsome sum of £48.0s.3d was subscribed, also £1.11s.0d from the members of the Todmorden Church Institute, of which the deceased was a member.


5th August 1902

The Frostholme Institute was opened for persons employed by Messrs Joshua Smith Ltd. at their Frostholme Mill, Cornholme. Messrs Smith has developed a huge manufacturing business at this place where a large number of people find employment, both male and female. Their generosity in providing the means for the social and intellectual enjoyment of their work people is worthy of emulation.


Todmorden and Hebden Bridge Almanac 1907

Mr. Joshua Smith J.P. of Arncliffe, Half Edge Lane, Eccles, head of the firm of Joshua Smith Limited, Cotton Manufacturers, Frostholme Mill, Todmorden, also of Manchester, Liverpool and Bradford, who died on April 19th left £86,118.


Kelly 1908

Joshua Smith Ltd. Frostholme Mill, cotton manufacturers.


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