(previously Hare Mill)

Burnley Road


Map Ref. SD931250


Hare Mill before 1914




Hare Spinning Co. Ltd.


Mons Mill Co.


Lancashire Cotton Corporation




Ward & Goldstone Ltd., electrical contractor


Volex Group


demolished for housing


Mons about 1948 by kind permission of Roger Birch


Mons Mill was researched on behalf of the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. (Yorkshire Textile Mills Survey). July 1988. Much of the following information is taken from the report.


Illustrated history

Mons Mill, initially called Hare Mill, was built for cotton spinning by the Hare Spinning Co. Ltd., which almost certainly took its name from Hare Hill, the nearby residence of its chairman, Jonathan Gledhill. He had purchased the Hare Hill estate at auction on 18th October 1899, and immediately proceeded to enlarge Hare Hill House, also submitting plans for new streets of houses nearby. At that time, Jonathan Gledhill was living at Inchfield Villa in Walsden and recently elected as a director in the new PIONEER MILL Co. in Walsden. He was also a director of the Lancashire Cotton Spinning Company and Broadstone Spinning Co. Ltd.

In 1907, plans were approved for a mill, Hare Mill, on Holme Meadow, a field immediately adjacent to Hare Hill. The Hare Mill Spinning Co. Ltd., of which Jonathan Gledhill was chairman, submitted the plans, and this latest venture may be seen as an extension of his business interests in what was still a boom period for cotton. Holme Meadow field was the site of the annual visit to Todmorden of Sanger’s Circus.


aerial view of the mill and reservoir in 1986


The mill was intended to be of huge dimensions “far surpassing anything at present in the district”. Only half the intended structure was planned to be erected initially, with the remainder following as soon as possible. The first building was supposed to contain 84,000 spindles and cost about £80,000 to build. The two buildings, when complete, were to contain up to 180,000 spindles and provide employment for about 600 people for whom 400 new houses would be needed. In the event, the second building was never erected.

The architect and consulting engineer for Hare Hill Mill was Abraham Henthorn Stott jnr. of Messrs Stott & Sons of Manchester. He was a noted textile mill architect. The contractors for the erection of the mill were Messrs E. Taylor & Co. of Littleborough. Other contracts were awarded to Mr. J. J. Smithies of Rochdale for the rolled steel work, Messrs Coulthurst of Darwen for the cast iron work, and Messrs Platt Bros Ltd. of Oldham for the machinery.

The original Board of Directors were:

Jonathan Gledhill, chairman, of Todmorden.

Samuel Ward, vice-chairman, of Ashton-under-Lyne.

Owen Gregory of Monton near Manchester.

Frederick Hague Moss, dyer of BRIDGEROYD near Todmorden.

James A. Fletcher of Ashton-under-Lyne.

James Sutcliffe, cotton spinner of Walsden – chairman of James Sutcliffe & Son Ltd. JUBILEE MILL Walsden.


Mons Mill

© Copyright Chris Allen and licensed for reuse

under this Creative Commons Licence


In 1903, plans were approved for new streets of houses and re-arrangement of existing streets, which were:

Beaumont Street

Back Beaumont Street

Osbourne Street

Back Osbourne Street

Windsor Road

Balmoral Street

Ladysmith Street

Back Ladysmith Street

Mafeking Street

Back Mafeking Street

Kimberley Street

Alexandra Road.

The first sod for the mill was cut with great ceremony on 1st June 1907 and building work was completed about 1910.


construction in progress


Among its most notable features was the massive 3,000-horse power Belgian steam engine, boasting two cylinders each one metre in diameter, installed in an engine room of almost cathedral-like appearance with a beautiful mosaic floor. The engine bore the date 1911.


The engine house


There were financial and boardroom problems that delayed the opening of the mill, which finally happened in August 1912. The building was 7 storeys high over a basement, 8 bays deep and 13 bays long. The eastern bay housed a rope race.  There was a reservoir. The red brick chimney bore an emblem of a hare in white brick.

The company wound up in 1914 and William Hopwood bought the mill for £131,450. He sold it to the newly formed Mons Mill Company Limited and the mill was renamed Mons Mill. The name Hare Mill was changed to Mons Mill after the First World War battle, and the emblem of the hare on the chimney was soon changed to MONS.


Advert from 1919


The company advertised itself as spinners of super and medium American yarn with 100,000 mule spindles and 17,000 ring spindles. In the following years, additions were made to the building including a new entrance lodge.


The new entrance.

© Copyright Robert Wade and licensed for reuse

under this Creative Commons Licence.


The Mons Mill Co. was subsequently taken over by the Lancashire Cotton Corporation, followed by Courtaulds who ceased operations there in 1968. That was the end of textiles at Mons Mill.


Working the beaming frame at Mons 1949

by kind permission of Freda and Malcolm Heywood


Working a spinning frame at Mons 1949

by kind permission of Freda and Malcolm Heywood


the piecers in the spinning room 1912


In 1971 it was taken over by Ward & Goldstone Ltd. (electrical contractors), who from 1985 traded as part of the Volex Group

The steam engine was scrapped in the 1960’s and in 1986 the chimney was demolished completely along with the engine house. The local contractors N & R were commissioned to do the work and they, in turn, brought in a specialist team to lower the chimney brick by brick.

Following the departure of Volex, the last occupiers, the bulldozers finally moved in and in the summer of 2000, Mons Mill was gone. The site now contains modern housing.

shortly before demolition

© Copyright Chris Allen and licensed for

reuse under this Creative Commons Licence