(Salford Barracks)



Map Ref: SD934240


Interior view of Astin & Barker's Victoria Ironworks

(Leah Collection)


Known occupiers


HANSON Samuel & William


HOLT Richard & Bros


HOLT Maria and Susan









Ironworks on OS 25” map

Part demolished



Interior view of Astin & Barker's Victoria Ironworks

(Leah Collection)


Additional information


Hebden Bridge Times and Caldervale Gazette, 15th March 1882

Recollections of Todmorden 50 to 60 years ago.


… Where the workshop of Messrs Astin & Barker stands, was a vacant and open space of ground – a place where Samuel Hanson laid wood. At the end, towards the canal, an occasional boat was built, and there of course was launched, which was an event and attracted numerous spectators. At fair times this plot of ground was the rendezvous for most of the gamblers in the country, who might be seen in half a dozen groups of various dimensions, and counting sometimes well up to a hundred persons. Occasional raids were made on them by the parish constables, or more correctly speaking, by some bolder deputy constable, who took the spoils left on the ground in part reward of his vigilance and risks – for that there were rough customers amongst them we need not say.

Leigh’s Directory 1818

John Hanson, Timber Merchant, Todmorden


Baines 1824/25

Samuel and William Hanson, English timber and boat builders, Pavement


Pigot 1828/29

Richard Holt & Bros. iron and brass founders, Salford


Parson & White 1830

Richard Holt & Bros. iron and brass founders, Salford


Bradford Observer 10th April 1834

Partnership dissolved, Richard Holt & Bros. Todmorden, ironfounders.


White 1837

Maria and Susan Holt, iron & brass founders, Salford

Maria and Susan Holt, whitesmiths, Salford


Hebden Bridge Times and Caldervale Gazette, 15th March 1882

Recollections of Todmorden 50 to 60 years ago.


... The part of the works of Messrs Astin & Barker not built on the site of Buckleys Dam were for some years employed by Messrs Firth & Howarth as a powerloom shop, and afterwards as infantry barracks consequent on the disturbed state of the neighbourhood in the Anti-Poor Law times, there being also a troop of cavalry billeted for a while at various inns in and near Todmorden. Some of these when they departed took wives with them from among the Todmorden lasses, while others took no wives but left children ...

Notes from John Travis, contemporary historian who worked at this foundry until late 1855.

... In 1836 Firth & Howarth occupied a power loom weaving shed in Salford, Todmorden, in 2 rooms built by John Holt, timber merchant. The steam engine was on the other side of the street with the main shaft running under the road...

... The buildings known as Salford Barracks and land behind, which was part of Buckleys Dam, was sold by the trustees of John Holt of Woodyard, timber merchant and bobbin manufacturer, to John Lord of Broadclough in Bacup who altered the premises and let it out in sections, including to Jeremiah Jackson ... (note - John Holt as mentioned above died in 1828)

... About 1844, a company of working millwrights and machine makers was formed under the name of Jackson, Astin and Barker. They took 5 bays of the Salford Barracks and some spare ground behind. After 3 or 4 years they agreed to separate into Jackson, Sutcliffe & Jackson, machine makers; and Astin, Barker & Astin, millwrights. They shared the same steam engine. John Astin, the head of the second firm died in 1850. The works were later re-named the Victoria Ironworks ...


White 1847

Jackson, Astin, Barker & Co. machine makers, Salford.


Census 1851

  1. Robert Barker, Roomfield Lane, aged 55, millwright
  2. John Barker (son) aged 33, millwright
  3. James Astin, North Street, aged 44, millwright in a partnership of 2 employing 7 men and 4 apprentices
  4. Henry Astin (son) aged 17, millwright


White 1853

Astin, Barker & Co. machine makers, Salford


Todmorden Rates Book 1860-1890

Occupied by Astin & Barker; owned by John Lord of Bacup; millwright’s shop, foundry etc; Salford; rateable value £77.18s.0d.

1866 – rateable value £98.16s.0d.

1880 – rateable value £114.15s.0d.


Todmorden Post Office Directory 1861

Astin & Barker – millwrights and engineers – Victoria Ironworks, Salford


Census 1861

  1. John Barker, Ridgeside, aged 43, millwright
  2. James Astin, North Street, aged 53, millwright employing 54 men and 8 boys
  3. Henry Astin, 7 Prince Street, aged 27, millwright


White 1866

Astin & Barker, iron & brass founders and machine makers, Victoria Foundry; James Astin house – North Street; John Barker house – Odd Fellows Hall.


Kelly 1871

Astin & Barker, Victoria ironworks Salford, millwrights and engineers


Census 1871

  1. John Barker, 10 Odd Fellows Hall, aged 53, millwright
  2. James Astin, Oxford Street, aged 63, millwright
  3. Henry Astin, 13 Prince Street, aged 37, millwright partner


12th June 1874

Death of Henry Astin


Halifax Guardian 21st September 1875

Death of Mr. James Astin aged 67 of Lytham Road, Blackpool (of the firm of Astin and Barker, millwrights of Todmorden.)


Todmorden and Hebden Bridge Advertiser 24th December 1880

Flood at Astin & Barker’s foundry and millwright’s shop.


Census 1881

  1. John Barker, 10 Butterworth Street, aged 63, master millwright employing 45 hands
  2. Josiah Barker, (son), aged 23, manager in millwright’s shop


Halifax Courier 27th January 1883

Treat for the employees of Astin & Barker, ironfounders, in honour of the recent marriage of Josiah, only son of John Barker the senior partner.


Halifax Courier 9th June 1883

Death of John Barker of York Street, the last surviving partner of Astin & Barker, engineers & millwrights, Salford.


Census 1891

Josiah Barker, Calder Bank, aged 33, millwright, employer


10th October 1891

Presentation of a beautiful clock and 2 flower vases (after a substantial tea) to Mr. Smith Barker, by the moulders at Messrs Astin & Barker of Todmorden. The recipient had been foreman in the foundry department for over 30 years.

Kelly 1893

Astin & Barker, millwrights and engineers, Victoria Ironworks


15th July 1893

An alarming outbreak of fire took place at the premises of Messrs Astin & Barker, ironfounders, Salford, Todmorden, doing damage estimated between £300 and £350.


13th July 1895

The jubilee year of the existence of the well known firm of millwrights, Messrs Astin & Barker, Salford, Todmorden, was celebrated on this date All the hands, together with their wives and sweethearts had their fares paid to Blackpool, and on arriving sat down to a capital dinner at the Station Coffee Palace.


Outside Victoria Ironworks, Charter Day 1896 - Astin & Barker's procession float

By kind permission of Roger Birch


Kelly 1897-1908

Astin & Barker, millwrights and engineers, Victoria ironworks Salford.


10th December 1899

About 4-30 this morning an alarming outbreak of fire occurred at the Victoria Ironworks, Salford, Todmorden, owned and occupied by Messrs Astin & Barker. The firemen responded with such promptitude that the damage did not exceed £450.


Census 1901

Josiah Barker, Calder Bank, aged 43, millwright & ironfounder, employer


3rd January 1902

Death of Mr. Josiah Barker of Calderbank of the firm of Messrs Astin & Barker, ironfounders, Salford, in his 44th year.


12th April 1913

Death of Mr. Matthew Clegg, blacksmith’s striker, Mount Pleasant, Longfield Road, aged 72, who had the unique distinction of having worked for Messrs Astin & Barker for the lengthy period of 53 years.