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Lumbutts Clough



Map Ref. SD956234


Known occupiers












CROSSLEY John of Scaitcliffe




LAW Robert


LAW Samuel










FIRTH Thomas




Demolished apart from waterwheel tower
Illustrated history

The area known as Lumbutts was well-endowed with mills, but the original mill was known simply as Lumbutts Mill. Until 1783, this mill was a corn mill powered by water from Lumbutts Clough. It was in existence in 1557 when it was owned by a Foxcroft family from Sowerby. They sold it for £50 to James Stansfield of Stansfield in 1611 who remained there many years. He sold it to John Uttley, a yeoman of Warland on 14th September 1654, and it then remained in the Uttley family until at least the 1750's when it was standing idle and in disrepair.

Nothing is known until 1775, when corn miller Thomas Bottomley paid £185 to George Fisher to purchase the premises, and in 1777 he paid a further £33.19s.0d to a Thomas Sayer. It seems he was then the outright owner. He lived on the premises with his wife Mally and their growing family. By 1778 he was in need of cash, possibly for additions to the mill, and raised a mortgage on the property from John Walton, farmer of Hollingworth. John Walton loaned him £80, which Mr. Bottomley re-paid out of the proceeds of the sale when he relinquished the mill in July 1782. John Crossley esq. of SCAITCLIFFE HALL purchased the property for £160. John Bottomley moved his family to GAUXHOLME CORN MILL where he took on a tenancy.


Lumbutts Mill, looking towards Walsden

Mr. John Crossley applied for tenants to work the mill, and in 1783, Thomas Hughes of Folley Mill in the Chapelry of Colne in Whalley Parish, cotton manufacturer, Robert Law of DYKEGREEN, Todmorden, stonemason, his brother Samuel Law of Toad Carr, clogger, and Abraham Crossley of Lumbutts Mill in Langfield, cotton manufacturer, agreed to enter into a partnership in the cotton business as joint traders, and for that purpose they took out a lease on the mill at Lumbutts.

Thomas Hughes paid in fifty pounds whilst the other three paid in one hundred pounds each, and were entitled to proportionate shares in the partnership. In addition, Thomas Hughes and Abraham Crossley were appointed as managers of the business with Thomas receiving 12 shillings a week and Abraham 8 shillings a week by way of wages. The two Law brothers were the sleeping partners and carried on with their own separate trades, apart from unpaid inspection and managerial roles.

On his part, Mr. John Crossley agreed to lease to the partnership the water corn mill known as Lumbutts Mill, the drying kiln, and the water dams, streams, and the water wheels, gears, cottages and other appurtenances within the property.

He demanded a yearly rent of £9.9s.0d. for a period of 21 years for the mill, surrounding land and appurtenances. He also agreed to pay the partnership the sum of £15.15s.0d. towards the cost of converting the mill from corn to cotton.

The original inventory

The inventory of the mill at that time included the following:

1 great water wheel, cogs, upright,shaft & geared flywheel £31.5.4d

1 weigh balk, carder and scales - £0.12.0d

1 sampling mill 8lb weight - £0.2.8d

2 stone weights each 6lbs - £0.1.0d

1 cast iron 16lb weight -£0.2.0d

1 cast iron 24lb weight - £0.3.0d

1 cast iron 8lb weight - £0.1.0d

1 cast iron 4lb weight - £0.0.6d

1 cast iron 3lb weight - £0.0.4d

1 gaulock 12lb weight - £0.3.0

1 screw key - £0.1.3d

1 waterhouse door - £0.4.0d


Just over a year later, in 1784, Robert Law and Thomas Hughes sold their shares in the partnership to Samuel Fielden of Platshouse, Todmorden, stuffmaker, and John Tattersall of Lumbutts Mill, manufacturer. The new partnership agreed that the care and management of the business should be taken over by Samuel Law, Abraham Crossley and John Tattersall with wages and expenses as appropriate. Samuel Fielden was the sleeping partner on this occasion.

In 1791, the partnership was dissolved and by 1794 Joshua Fielden senior of Waterside had taken over the residue of the lease. Initially, Joshua agreed to join up with John Uttley of Dobroyd, glazier, Samuel Greenwood of Dobroyd, stuff maker, and Thomas Firth of Newhouse near Gauxholme, Todmorden, yeoman as regards the working of Lumbutts Mill. However, by 1796, the Fieldens wanted the mill as a remote extension to the ever-growing spinning mill at Laneside later known as WATERSIDE MILL.

The Fieldens commissioned William Fairbairn to design a new mill at Lumbutts. The tower was built to house first two, and then three overshot water wheels, one above the other. Each wheel was 6 feet wide and 31 feet in diameter. The water fell 90 feet and generated about 54-horse power. The adjacent chimney is 98 feet high and there is a spiral staircase inside. This is about all that remains of the mill today.

Gaddings Dam

To provide a water supply, 4 new dams were built, one of which was Gaddings Dam. This dam is 365 meters above sea level on Langfield Moor above Todmorden.

The dam has never been used as a reservoir. Its purpose now is leisure and as a wildlife sanctuary. The people of Todmorden have purchased it for their own use and leisure, and there are always fund raising activities organised for its continued maintenance. The Fieldens also made a new road to Lumbutts, as the original lane was generally unsuitable for the heavy usage of carts to and from the mills.

Samuel Fielden, eldest son of Joshua who founded the Fielden Empire, was first the manager of the family owned Lumbutts Mill and then the sole owner, buying it from the family about 1813. He was a frequent visitor to the mill, enjoying a social life in the village, and walking there and back from his home at Waterside along the narrow lanes. He never married, but found the young girls of the village good company. Indeed, he fathered two sons by Lumbutts' mothers, a Miss Clegg and Hannah Uttley who was later to marry WILLIAM BAYES. Both sons were taken on and looked after financially by the Fielden family as though they had been born in wedlock, although brought up in Lumbutts by their mothers.

Sam was a sociable and friendly chap, always stopping to talk and gossip along the road from Lumbutts. One of his fellow gossips was Joseph Woodhead who was in charge of maintaining the Fielden's road to Lumbutts. He would break up the stone or repair it as required. Sam often stopped to talk to Joseph, and a good friendship developed over the years. Sam would take a hammer and break up a few stones by way of exercise before passing on his way.

The road through Lumbutts village

On one of these occasions, Joseph was working on the road when Sam was returning to Waterside from Lumbutts. The two friends were discussing the recent sighting of a ghost in the vicinity when Sam picked up the hammer to break up some stone and then collapsed and died. He was about 50 years of age and was buried at the Quaker Burial Ground at Shoebroad.

After the death of Samuel, Lumbutts Mill passed to his brother Joshua, and it remained in the family until its closure.

In 1832 there was a machinery and business valuation. It appears that Lumbutts Mill, equipped to work from raw cotton through to the spinning stages, had 20 mules and 4,944 spindles each valued at 1s.6d. It used 6 horse-power water power. The buildings and power were valued at £2,700 and the machinery at £1,142.

The mill provided employment for the folk of the pretty villages of Lumbutts and Mankinholes, but saw violent scenes on 16th November 1838. William Ingham, the overseer for Langfield, a farmer who lived at Mankinholes Hall (now the youth hostel), was fined for refusing to pay his rates towards the new Union Workhouse. This was a deliberate action by William as part of a local protest against the introduction of large Union Workhouses and major alterations to the way the poor folk were cared for. William then refused to pay the fine and this brought two special constables to his door to seize his goods. John Fielden, one of the main protesters, and his workers at Lumbutts Mill were prepared for this and rang the alarm bells at the mill. A mob of some 2,000 TODMORDEN REBELS arrived and attacked the constables, who were severely beaten and stripped of their clothing before being sent on their way. Thus began the famous Todmorden Riots.

In 1845, John Fielden bought a second mill in Lumbutts, known as GREENWOODS MILL, from owners Uttley and Greenwood, and in 1847 he acquired a third mill known as JUMB MILL, paying £4,528 for the mill and its water courses. An overhead ropeway connected Lumbutts Mill with her sister mill, Jumb Mill, saving time and money transferring goods from one to the other.

The overhead ropeway. Photo by kind permission of Roger Birch

Lumbutts Mill was enlarged between 1849 and 1851, when the company invested £57,000 in the latest spinning and weaving machines for there and the main concern at Waterside. Lumbutts was equipped with 6,528 throstles for spinning. In the 1850's the mill employed about 100 work people, mainly half time school children and young women. Typical wages were 9 shillings.
When the mill closed in 1926, 62 people were made redundant. Some of these were given work at other mills and the rest retired on pensions of 12 shillings a week. The mill is now demolished apart from the tower and chimney, but new extensions have been built to house an Activity Centre used for residential training weekends and other activities. The building accommodates 24 young people plus staff.

Various agreements extracted from the Fielden family papers


Lease and release 9-10 Oct 1775

  1. George Fisher of Longroyd Bridge, Huddersfield, gent.
  2. John Bottomley of Millwood, Halifax, miller
  3. John Sutcliffe of Horsewood, Langfield, stuffmaker of Lumbutts Mill with covenant to produce deeds.

Consideration: £185 from (2) to (1) 10s. from (3) to (1)


Lease and release 26-27 Dec 1777

  1. Thomas Sayer of Halifax, gent.
  2. John Bottomley of Lumbutts, miller of Lumbutts Mill, drying kiln, etc.

Consideration: £33.19s.0d


Mortgage by demise to secure £80 and interest 17 Oct 1778

  1. John Bottomley of Lumbutts, yeoman
  2. John Walton of Hollingworth in Hundersfield, woollen cloth maker

of Lumbutts Mill, drying kiln, etc.


Conveyance 11 Jul 1782

  1. John Bottomley of Lumbutts, yeoman
  2. John Walton of Hollingworth, woollen weaver
  3. John Crossley of Scaitcliffe in Hundersfield, gent.
  4. John Greenwood of Langfield, gent.

Of water corn mill, drying kiln and 2 cottages at Lumbutts, with assignment of mortgage term to attend the inheritance. Consideration: £80 from (3) to (1) £80 from (3) to (2)


Indenture 15th April 1783

John Crossley of Scaitcliffe in Todmorden agrees to lease the water corn mill known as Lumbutts Mill to Thomas Hughes of Folley Mill in Colne, cotton manufacturer, Robert Law of Dyke Green in Todmorden, mason, Samuel Law of Toadcarr in Stansfield, clogger, and Abraham Crossley of Lumbutts Mill, cotton manufacturer. Term 21 years at £9.9s.0d rent. John Crossley agrees to spend up to £15.5s.0d in order to convert the water corn mill into a cotton mill and the drying kiln to a cottage.

 “… All that water corn mill called or commonly known by the name of Lumbutts Mill and one drying kiln thereunto belonging situate in the township of Langfield aforesaid, with all the dams of water, dam stones, streams of water thereunto also belonging, with all such wheels, gears and other articles and things as are mentioned in the schedule hereunto mentioned, and hereby agreed to be used and occupied therewith, all which said premises are now in the tenure or occupation of the said Abraham Crossley, his assignees or under tenants, together with two cottages or dwelling houses , situate and being at Lumbutts Mill aforesaid, now in the tenure or occupation of Thomas Stansfield and of Mrs. Abraham Crossley or their respective under tenants or assignees; and all and singular dwelling houses, stables, buildings, folds, gardens, orchards, ways, paths, passages, waters and water courses, rights, privileges, hereditaments and appurtenances whatsoever to the said water corn mill, drying kiln, cottages or dwelling houses …”


Indenture 15th April 1783

Partnership agreement between Thomas Hughes of Folley Mill cotton manufacturer, Robert Law of Dykegreen in Todmorden, mason, Samuel Law of Toad Carr in Stansfield, clogger, and Abraham Crossley of Lumbutts, cotton manufacturer. Partnership to operate Lumbutts Mill as a cotton-spinning mill.


Indenture 30th August 1784

Whereby Thomas Hughes and Robert Law withdraw from the partnership with Samuel Law and Abraham Crossley at Lumbutts Mill, selling their shares of the business to Samuel Fielden of Platts House, stuff maker, and John Tattersall of Lumbutts Mill, cotton manufacturer. Thomas Hughes received £49 and Robert Law received £59.15s.0d.


Assignment 8 Nov 1787

  1. Samuel Law of Henshaw Barn, Hundersfield, clogmaker, Abraham Crossley of Lumbutts Mill, cotton manufacturer, Samuel Fielden of Platshouse, stuff maker and John Tattersall of Bolton, cotton manufacturer
  2. William Uttley of Rodwellhead, Stansfield, drysalter, George Feather of Howarth, stuff maker

Of Lumbutts Mill and sale of machinery for residue of 2 years. Consideration: £70


Articles dissolving the co-partnership 1 Nov 1791

Between Samuel Fielden, John Tattersall, Samuel Law and Abraham Crossley


Articles of agreement 30 Nov 1794

Between John Uttley of Dobroyd, glazier, Samuel Greenwood of Dobroyd, stuff maker, Joshua Fielden of Waterside, cotton manufacturer and Thomas Firth of Newhouse near Gauxholme, Todmorden, yeoman re the working of Lumbutts Mill


Articles of agreement 15 Jan 1796

  1. John Crossley of Scaitcliffe, gent.
  2. John Uttley of Dobroyd, glazier
  3. Joshua Fielden, Samuel Fielden, and Joshua Fielden the younger of Waterside

Whereby (1) promises to (2) that he will release him from rent of £9 9s, and (3) promises to pay rent of £18 to (1), etc.


Lease (and confirmation of old lease) 31 Dec 1796

  1. John Crossley the elder of Scaitcliffe, gent.
  2. Joshua Fielden of Waterside, cotton manufacturer, and Samuel and Joshua Fielden, his sons

Of Lumbutts mill, drying kiln, 2 cottages, etc. Term: 21 years from 1804. Rent £21 p.a.


Lease and release 21-22 Apr 1803

  1. John Crossley of Scaitcliffe, Rochdale, gent, and Sarah his wife
  2. Mary Crossley of Scaitcliffe, widow of John Crossley
  3. John Sutcliffe of Royd, Stansfield, gent.
  4. Alexander Turner of Leeds, esq., and James King of Mytholm, esq.
  5. John Sutcliffe and John Pollard of township of Sowerby, yeoman
  6. Samuel Fielden of Lumbutts Mill, cotton manufacturer
  7. Gilbert Lacy of Langfield, cotton manufacturer

Of Lumbutts Mill, 1 drying kiln, etc. Consideration:£420 by (6) to (1) 5s. by (6) to each of (4) and (5).


Additional information

researched, recorded and referenced by Mrs Sheila Wade

Hebden Bridge WEA Local History Group



Feet of Fines Easter 1557

Plaintiff: James Foxcroft

Defendant: Francis Redman, gentleman, and Margaret his wife, and Thomas Watson, gentleman and Alice his wife.

Property: Manor of Langfield and 10 messuages, 4 cottages and a watermill with lands there and in Mankynhoylls and Ryssheworth.


Feet of Fines Easter 1582

Plaintiff: William Savile gentleman, and William Moncaster

Defendant: George Foxcroft de Sowerby

Property: 5 messuages, 4 cottages and a watermill with lands in Langefelde and the moiety of the Manor of Langfelde.


Feet of Fines Easter 1590

Plaintiff: Michael Foxcroft

Defendant: Robert Priestley and Elizabeth his wife, George Foxcroft and Grace his wife.

Property: Messuage with lands in Sowerby and the moiety of the Manor of Langfield, and of 6 messuages and a watermill with lands there.


3rd November 1569 extract from will of James Foxcroft of Sowerby.

Proved 30th June 1570

Richard & Daniel “younger sons”; Lord of the Manor of Langfield; Michael & George “my younger sons”. Richard, Daniel and Samuel “brothers of aforesaid Michael and George”; Daniel and Samuel “my youngest sons”; Elizabeth (wife); John Foxcroft (brother); Jennet and Sarah “my daughters”.


Feet of Fines Easter 1611

Quer: James Stansfield esq.

Defendant: George Foxcroft, Daniel Foxcroft and Michael Foxcroft

Property: Water corn mill in Langfield and Mankinholes.


History of the Family of Stansfield (John Stansfield, Leeds, 1885)


George Foxcroft, Daniel Foxcroft and Michael Foxcroft in consideration of £50 sold to James Stansfield of Stansfield the Langfield water corn mill.


14th September 1654

James Stansfield in consideration of the sum of £50 granted the water corn mill called Langfield Mill alias Mankinholes Mill, and all the houses, buildings, dams, stagnes, goits, attachments of dams, socken and suite of freehold and resiante and other tenants, tole, multure, etc. now in the tenure of James Stansfield, to John Uttley of Warland in Hundersfield, County of Lancashire, yeoman.


Heptonstall Chapel Rental 1750

Langfield; Upper Croft, Samuel Uttley and mill.


Watson’s History of Halifax

1758 – Lumbutts corn mill, possibly not being used as out of repair.


Langfield Rates 1785-90

John Crossley pays rates to Langfield for Lumbutts Mill.



John Crossley, owner and occupier of Lumbutts corn mill, supported the bill for the Rochdale Canal.


Langfield Church Lay Assessments 15th May 1794

Joshua Fielden for Lumbutts Mill


Langfield Poor Rates 22nd June 1795

Joshua Fielden for Lumbutts Mill


Langfield Constable Assessments 1795

Joshua Fielden for Lumbutts Mill


Crossley family papers 1800

In 1800, John Crossley the elder conveyed to his trustees (John Sutcliffe of Royd in Stansfield, gentleman, and John Pollard of Stannery End in Sowerby, yeoman) as a marriage settlement for his son John and Sarah Lockwood property including Lumbutts Mill or factory in Langfield, in the occupation of Joshua Fielden & Sons. John Crossley the younger – will proved 2nd February 1831. He left all his property to his son John, a minor, who died 4th June 1864 leavings mills etc to his nephew Crossley Dampier. (Whose trustees sold about 1865)


Halifax Journal 26th June 1802

Auction, Lumbutts Mill. Tenanted by Joshua Fielden or his undertenants, lately re-built, on Lumbutts Clough.


Crompton’s 1811 spindle enquiry

Lumbutts Higher Factory (no firm stated) 2,400 mule spindles – 10 x 20doz.


Langfield Poor Rates 24th February 1814

Samuel Fielden for Lumbutts Mill


Joshua Holden’s History of Todmorden


Langfield’s pinfold was in Lumbutts near to Lee Farm until 1814 when Samuel Fielden obtained permission to remove it elsewhere as he wanted to construct a reservoir for his spinning mill.


Langfield Poor Rates 1st May 1816

Samuel Fielden for Lumbutts Mill


Indenture dated 1816

Mentions Samuel Fielden of Lumbutts, cotton spinner.


Langfield Poor Rates 1st May 1817

Samuel Fielden for Lumbutts Mill


1832 valuation of Lumbutts Mill

Lumbutts Mill, owned by Joshua Fielden, occupied by Fielden Bros; cotton preparation; 20 mules; 4,944 spindles; 7hp water; buildings and power valued at £2,700; machinery valued at £1,142.


Fielden papers 12th December 1835

Note of money paid for work at Gaddings Dam, drain, and Horsewood Tunnel and dam No. 2 by Fielden Bros. £879.13s.7d. Money paid for this by Uttleys £127.8s.11d. Money paid for this by Greenwood £174.10s.4d. Greenwood and Uttleys have no charge for land in the above sums.


Return of Mills 14th May 1856

Lumbutts Mill; spinning; 6,528 throstle spindles; 14hp steam; 14hp water; employ 39 people aged under 13, 42 women and 16 men.


Langfield Rates November 1856-59

Occupied by Fielden Bros; owned by John Fielden; Lumbutts; mill and power; rateable value £227.5s.8d.


Langfield Rates 1860-64

Occupied by Fielden Bros; owned by John Fielden; Lumbutts; mill and power; rateable value £227.5s.8d; 12hp steam £9.15s.0d.


Langfield Rates Book 1865-93

Occupied by Fielden Bros; owned by John Fielden; Lumbutts; mill and power; rateable value £169.18s.0d.

1888 – water and steam power.


Todmorden and Hebden Bridge Advertiser 1st August 1879

Lumbutts Mill, spindles running 3 days.


Fielden papers 5th February 1890

Lease of Lumbutts and Jumb Mills, Todmorden, John Fielden to Fielden Bros. Ltd. Term for 7 years, rent £200.


Todmorden Advertiser 7th February 1890

Lumbutts Factory School. Accommodation for 253. Average attendance 81.


Fielden papers 1st January 1897

Lease of Lumbutts and Jumb Mills, Thomas Fielden to Fielden Bros Ltd. lease of above mills for 7 years at £200 rent.


Fielden papers 12th June 1907

Lease of Lumbutts and Jumb Mills, endorsed by Mrs. Martha Fielden for continuance of tenancy of above mills.


Fielden papers December 1926

Lumbutts Mills. Notice to quit.