Map Ref. SD 932212


Known occupiers








Up to 1817



MARLAND John and Sons


MARLAND Abel and Ralph


Machinery mill on Os 6” map


RILEY James & Co


TAYLOR Ormerod


TAYLOR Richard R.


Disused on 25” OS map
Illustrated history

The remaining dwelling houses

Next to a row of modern houses on the lane leading to Ramsden Wood is an inconspicuous entrance to a small area of land that is unseen from the road. Ramsden Clough falls swiftly down through this land, crossed by an ancient, narrow, humped stone bridge. There, on the land, is an old dwelling house, now split in to two homes. Opposite is the old mill in a derelict state and a much newer hut that was a Tripe Works.

There are many surprising places in Walsden, tucked away behind ordinary-looking housing, but none so surprising as Strines. Only the locals would know how to find it, but it has existed for over 350 years.


Originally just a farm, the hamlet of Strines is ancient. A family by the name of Crossley was there in the 1670's, with John Crossley as the husbandman farmer with his wife Mary and sons, John junior and Luke. Then came Daniel Eastwood with his wife Martha and sons Abraham, James and John. It was whilst the Eastwoods were the farmers that the mill was built, apparently for a Samuel Uttley in 1794. 

It was originally used as a carding and spinning mill for wool and was powered by water from Ramsden Clough. With the mill will have come more families, although the census returns show there were never more than seven families in this tiny hamlet.

The original mill


Samuel Uttley owned and occupied the mill in 1794, but by 1796 had moved on to SMITHYHOLME MILL.

On 29th November 1814, the whole of Strines Estate came up for auction. This comprised about 6 acres of meadow, pasture and barns at Inchfield including 8 cattle gates on the pasture, plus a dwelling house, outbuildings, cotton factory and land measuring about 27 acres. The tenant at the time was John Eastwood, said to be 64 years of age, and the annual rent was £18.9s.

John Haigh of PASTURESIDE bought the 6 acres at Inchfield, and John Foster bought the rest of the estate including the mill for £2,355. John Foster was from Slack Top at Heptonstall and presumably bought the mill and land as an investment.

James Haigh was the tenant in 1817 when he took out an insurance policy with Royal Exchange. The mill was insured for £150, it being "no more than 2 storeys or 120 square yards."

Thomas Newell and his wife Hannah Cockcroft lived at Strines during this period, and for many years after. Thomas was from an old Walsden family, known to everyone as "Old Tum at Strines" and was a well-known figure in Walsden. He was a bit of a character, illiterate with no trade, and the father of 12 children whose main occupation was hand weaving at home. Tum had them all working on the looms as soon as they were able to understand instructions. He looked after the looms and did the winding-on and twisting-in himself, taking the finished pieces to the mill on taking in days and bringing back a fresh supply of work for his family. When steam powered looms became common, handloom weaving at home died out, and Tum regarded this as a disaster to his growing family with having so many mouths to feed. However, in the early days, it was a very good living. 

Besides managing his home cottage industry, Tum was the brewer for Thomas Hill, landlord of the Waggon & Horses Inn, not far away in Bottoms. This involved a day's work doing the brewing and another day to pour the beer into the barrels.

Tum also regarded an essential part of his job included staying with the customers to test the quality of the ale, his main ally in this being his friend, James Howarth, known as Pinky. The pair of them would stay at the Waggon until very late and then help each other up the hill home afterwards.

About 1820 the Marland family took over the mill and converted it from textiles to engineering. The Marlands arrived in Walsden from Cheshire before 1812 and began a business at Dobroyd making machinery for the mills, then moved to the isolated WATERSTALLS MILL, finally moving down to the valley and taking over Strines Mill. John and Nancy Marland had three sons who followed their father in this trade. John, Abel and Ralph Marland were taught the iron-turning and allied trades at Strines by their father.

Edmund Grindrod was a friend of the Marlands from their days in Cheshire. He was a blacksmith and he took up employment with them at Strines Mill. He married Mary Jackson from Knowlwood Bottom in Walsden. Edmund worked at Strines Mill for the Marlands for many years before moving to a larger concern at Millwood. Apparently, he was a harmless sort of man, always cheerful and convivial.

The mill was not a large place but in the course of time it became a well-known training institution for local young men as smiths, iron-turners, fitters and so on. Many of these young men went on to hold good positions in machine works at home and abroad. For the Marlands, business was good. Abel made his home at the mill itself, with his wife, Alice Fielden. They brought up four sons and two daughters in the hamlet. His father John and brother Ralph had homes next door to one another at nearby Newbridge. John Marland junior, the oldest of the brothers, married Mally Law, daughter of Robert and Betty Law of RAMSDEN WOOD MILL, which was situated about a mile higher up Ramsden Clough from Strines. They settled in a house at Bottoms in Walsden, where they raised four sons and three daughters.

The mill was in its hey day in the 1830's. By then it was worked by steam power and there was a chimney built on the hillside behind the mill. Handloom weaving was virtually non-existent now. Old Tum had died and his children were married and making their own way in the world. The farm was no longer worked and the farmers had gone. However, there were seven families in the hamlet.

Tum's widow, Hannah, was still there, the matriarch of her large family of grown up children and grandchildren. Her son William was living with her and working as a labourer. Her daughter Sally lived next door with her husband James Crossley and four children. Daughter Martha was there with her husband, John Ogden, and three children.

Son John lived in part of the mill with his wife Betty Walton and their several children. Betty was married previously to Joseph Crowther, bringing six children into her marriage to John Newell, and giving him a further four. They all lived together at the mill where John struggled to support them all on his labourer's wage. Betty died in 1849, leaving John with all the children. He then died in a tragic accident in June 1850, reported as follows:

Manchester Times Wednesday, June 19, 1850

Man Killed

On Saturday evening last, John Newall, carter for Mr. Bottomley, cotton manufacturer, Walsden, was loading his master’s cart with cotton at the Littleborough station of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway when he fell backwards off the cart, and was so injured on the head that he died the following day. He was a widower, 45 years of age, and has left 10 children.


Betty's oldest son, John Crowther, was also there with his wife, who just happened to be Emma, the oldest daughter of Abel Marland. They lived with Abel and Alice at the mill. Two other families made up the community - John and Mary Butterworth and Abraham and Betty Ashworth. Abraham was a butcher, so the community would be well catered for in the fresh meat department.


As with many family run concerns in those times, the Marland brothers began to squabble over how things ought to be run. As John's grandsons became old enough to enter the business, it became clear the premises were too small to support this ever-growing family. The hamlet was tiny and there was no scope for expansion. The business ran in to trouble and in August 1845, John Marland junior appeared before the bankruptcy courts. Matters must have been sorted as the firm continued to run. In 1848, John Marland senior died aged nearly 80 years, and shortly before this, John junior severed his connection with his two brothers and built his own concern at Sun Vale. This caused some ill feeling within the family, but John made the right decision for himself and his own sons. He prospered well at Sun Vale.

Abel and Ralph continued at Strines for a couple of years, but without the driving force of their brother, the business went from bad to worse. Abel in particular made no effort to keep the business going, preferring to live hand to mouth on what his wife could earn as a dressmaker.

There may have been some marital discord, as Abel was involved in a scandal in 1848 involving his actions on the night of 1st November that year. He was seen in the company of Mrs. Sarah Priestley, a relative by marriage, at the Lord Nelson Inn, Todmorden. Late that night they set off to walk home together. They reached a point just above Smithyholme Lock when for some reason they both fell in the water. Abel managed to get out, but seeing Sarah in the water, he jumped in and dragged her to the edge, but was unable to pull her out. He called for assistance, but by the time she was pulled out, she was dead. At the inquest, Abel was severely reprimanded as the following extract from the inquest report indicates:

The jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death, after which the coroner gave Marland a severe castigation and made him to understand that though there was not sufficient evidence to warrant his committal, it did not exonerate him in the eye of the public, as to his foul and disgraceful intentions in persuading, or even allowing, the deceased to go by such a dangerous road in the dead of night. Mr. Fielden cautioned him to be more careful of his conduct in future.


Ralph Marland (1804-1874)

In 1851, Abel had left his residence at the mill and was living at Newbridge with Alice and three of their children. Apart from Alice, they were all unemployed. Ten years later, he was a beerhouse keeper at Newbridge. Brother Ralph continued as a roller maker a little longer, but then sold out to James Riley.

(photo kindly sent to us by Brian Marland,

Ralph's descendent)


James was a millwright. He and his wife, Rachel Stansfield, and five children moved from Millwood in Todmorden to Bottoms in Walsden. He continued to run the mill as an engineering shop until his untimely death in July 1855, aged 36 years. On July 25th and 26th the effects of his machine shop were sold off and the mill was idle.


With the death of James Riley came the end of engineering at Strines. For the next thirty or forty years, the mill was in the hands of Ormerod Taylor then his son Richard. They were drysalters, or dealers in dyes and colours used for the textile industry. The more common name for their occupation was manufacturing chemist. Ormerod did well for himself and family, being able to buy the land at Strines and beyond. He lived at the mill with his wife, Ellen, and family. The family is there in 1861, sharing the mill with Robert Law and his wife, Charlotte Wilkinson. Robert and Charlotte had two small children. He worked as a labourer at the mill.

After a gap of many years, there was again a farmer at Strines in 1861. He was John Parker from the Clitheroe area. He and his second wife, Jane, arrived at Strines in 1856, heralding the start of a family connection at Strines that was to last forty years.


Ann, Lizzie, Nancy, Dinah, Louisa and Bertha Parker

John combined a little farming with labouring work. He must have struggled as he had fifteen children between his two wives, and only three of these were sons. All 15 children lived at Strines. His youngest eleven children were girls. Six of those sisters are pictured (left) on the occasion of Nancy Parker's 70th. birthday in 1930. They were all born at Strines.

John died in 1875 and the following report appeared in the Halifax Guardian on 30th. October:

Sudden Death
On Monday morning, an aged man called Parker, who was employed by Mr. Ormerod Taylor, senr, drysalter, Walsden, as cow-man, suddenly died. The old man was milking a cow, when he fell from the stool and expired in a very short time

His wife moved down the lane to a house at Bottoms, but son William stayed behind with his wife and family. He worked as a carter and was there until the 1890's.

Ormerod Taylor and family were still living at Strines Mill in 1871, one of just four families in the hamlet. Ormerod died in 1880 aged 69, and is buried at St. Peter's in Walsden. He left the family business and much of the land at Strines to his only surviving son, Richard R. Taylor. Richard continued to run the firm, living with his own family at Holly Bank House on Strines Street. On his retirement, he emigrated to Manitoba in Canada.

The mill was disused after the Ormerods left, springing back to life later as a Tripe Works. It was known as Bailey's Tripe Works - and the sign above the hut is still there. During the 1960's and 70's, Mr. Bailey was a regular at the CROSS KEYS in Walsden. The pub was run at that time by Adam Godsman and every Friday evening there would be a plate of tripe, elder and other delicacies on the bar for the locals to dip into.

The Tripe Works

Jubilee and Bottoms mill chimneys behind the house


The old mill and tripe works are now derelict, and just the base of the old chimney can be seen in the woodland behind the mill.

In 1900, Richard Taylor sold part of his Strines estate to the Walsden Co-operative Society so they could build a new cotton mill, known as JUBILEE MILL. This mill still stands on the land immediately behind the only two remaining dwelling houses at Strines.


Strines Mill chimney


Additional information

researched, recorded and referenced by Mrs Sheila Wade

Hebden Bridge WEA Local History Group


HAS 1954 (1794)

Samuel Uttley, owner and occupier of Strines Cotton Mill supported the Bill for the Rochdale Canal.


Crompton’s spindle enquiry 1811

Strines Mill; 1432 mule spindles (2 x 18doz) and 120 throstle spindles (2 x 6doz)


The Leeds Mercury, Saturday October 29th 1814

To be sold by auction at the house of Mr. Patchet, the White Lion Inn, at Hebden Bridge, in the County of York on Tuesday 29th November, 1814, at three o’clock in the afternoon:

In the County of Lancaster - Freehold

Lot 6

All that messuage, outbuildings, cotton factory and lands, called Strines, in Inchfield (other part of the said farm called Strines), containing 27 acres 2 roods 21 perches, in possession of the said John Eastwood, subject to the same lease, and to the payment of a proportion of the said yearly rent of £18.9s.


Leeds Archives, Sutcliffe manuscripts 143(85)

1.   John Foster bought Strines Estate plus the mill for £2355 at auction, November 1814.

2.   Strines Mill up to 1816 – tenant James Haigh; after 1816 James Rogers, James Shorrocks, shop keepers, Manchester. Water Mill.

3.   Agreement 18th Feb 1819, owner of Strines Estates – John Foster – concerning water rights for new mill being built. (Probably Ramsden Wood).


Baines 1822

John Marland, roller maker

Baines 1824-25

John Marland, iron roller maker, Strines Mill

Halifax Guardian 9th March 1850

To Let for 99 years; mill called Strines Mill, Walsden near Todmorden, the property of John Foster esq. Lately occupied by Messrs. Marland; also fall of water, reservoirs, springs, river and goits; fall of water 47 feet averaging 10 or 12hp.

White 1853

Riley & Co. machine makers

Walsden Rates Book 1860-1890

Occupied by Ormerod Taylor; owner John Foster; mill and power; Strines; rateable value £37.

1866 – rateable value £44.4s.0d.

1868 – new shed rateable value £1.1s.0d.

1880 – rateable value £42.15s.0d.

1886 – additions to works £4.

1890 – rateable value £49.

Halifax Courier 5th July 1873

Flood damage, several yards of road and dam stones at Strines Mill. Damage £100.