Bacup Road (Dulesgate)


Map Ref. SD 927230



Known occupiers


For sale




GREENWOOD William, Robert & Bros.






OGDEN John Thomas


Corn mill on 25” OS map

Pit inspected by M. Heywood 1976 and would take waterwheel 29’ x 5’3”


The following extract from a poem composed by a local poet in the year 1802 refers to Edmund Dearden, corn miller of Watty:

There’s Dearden, the badger: for articles good
None can them excel, it’s well understood;
Corn, butter, malt, you may purchase, or cheese,
For Christians never their customers squeeze.


Notes from John Travis, contemporary historian:

Higher up the road was Watty Mill and Watty-place, which had been built before 1800 by Mr. Edward Dearden, known generally as “Old Dearden,” who had acquired the site and water rights from Mr. Robt. Hardman, of Todmorden, father of Dr. James Hardman. The corn mill was burnt down before 1820, and it is related that the heat from the fire was so intense that the door of Watty House opposite was set on fire. This has been told to the writer by Mr. Thos. Unsworth, of Knowlwood, who was a young man at the time of the fire.

Mr. Dearden afterwards rebuilt the mill, and sold it to the Greenwoods of Harehill, together with the whole of the property in Watty village. Mr. Dearden retired from active work and took the Haugh House, on the road up to the Union Workhouse. The Greenwoods ran the mill and after 1830 they were also running the Gauxholme and Stoneswood Corn Mills. Owing to some dispute about the toll house charges, the Greenwoods made a private road from the Watty mill to the canal wharf, and so evaded the payment of the toll which had hitherto been charged by the authorities. These same Greenwoods were also pretty extensive farmers in the district.

Jim o’ Billyman’s of Watty Hole, (James Ogden) Dulesgate, was a stable man and assistant carter for Edmund Dearden, corn miller of Watty Mill, and had also frequently to go down to Gauxholme and fetch his master from one or other of the public houses, who, in discharging those duties had at times to carry him on his back when he could not walk, with the aid of a good substantial human crutch. Upon one ccasion the old man was so far gone that he could not help himself much, but still was not dead to reflection upon surrounding things and his own helplessness. Jim had taken him upon his back, and as they approached the midden below Watty Place, old Dearden said: “Jim, throw me onto the muck midden for I’m fit for naught else I’ this condition.” So without any further ado, or waiting for second thoughts, Jim tossed him over, and there he lay for a short time, but when he had winded, said: “Well, he’s a good man that does as he’s telled”

Watty Mill has been used as a corn mill ever since it was built by Mr. Edward Dearden. It is now (1901) occupied by Mr. J. T. Ogden.



The Greenwood Brothers

The Greenwood family was originally from Harehill House in the Burnley Valley. William Greenwood and his brothers, Thomas, John and Robert, were extensive corn dealers, running Watty Corn Mill, Ewood  Malt Kiln, Scaitcliffe Corn Mill and STONESWOOD HIGHER MILL. William, Robert and John lived at Watty Place with their sister Sarah and a couple of female servants.

William, the oldest, was a teetotaler and a keen member of the society that was launched to establish St. Mary's as the true Parish Church in place of St. Chad's in Rochdale. Such was his sobriety that, contrary to custom, he refused to allow a gang of grass mowers a jar of ale as part payment for their work. He ended up with very long grass.

The ordinary working class folk generally disliked the Greenwood brothers. They were staunch supporters of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, which was deeply unpopular in Todmorden and aroused great opposition. When the newly formed Board of Guardians made its first demand for money, (£50 was required from the Todmorden tax payers), the township refused to pay. The upshot was rioting and mob warfare.

On November 14th 1838, hundreds of local men, armed with clubs and other weapons, assembled at Mankinholes and then proceeded to visit the homes of the men who served on the Board of Guardians and other prominent supporters of the new Act. The mob attacked the houses, breaking windows, doors and furniture. William Greenwood, at Watty Place in Dulesgate, and John Greenwood at Harehill House, were two of the people singled out by rioters seeking vengeance. The full story of this can be read HERE.

Thomas died a young man aged 35 at Harehill House. William remained at Watty Place until his death in 1856, aged 66. John returned to Harehill House, where he died in 1868 aged 67. Robert was the only one to marry. His wife was Mary Barker. They lived at the old home at Harehill House, where he died in 1873 aged 66. He left Mary with one son and two daughters.

Harehill House on Burnley Road


Additional information

researched, recorded and referenced by Mrs Sheila Wade

Hebden Bridge WEA Local History Group


Leeds International 22nd March 1796

Watty Corn Mill for sale; 1 mile from Todmorden


Land Tax Assessments

1803 and 1804

Edmund Dearden; mill and kilns etc. Tax 9s.0d.


Halifax Archives STA:222


Edward Dearden, Watty Mill, buying sacks from Wilks, Stansfield Mill.


Baines 1822

Edward Dearden, corn and flour dealers


Baines 1825

Edward Dearden, corn and flour dealers.


Pigot 1828-29

William Greenwood & Bros. corn dealers, millers and maltsters


Parson & White 1830

William Greenwood & Bros; Watty, Stoneswood and Scaitcliffe Mills; corn dealers, millers and maltsters.


HAS 1987 (1832)

Cragg Turnpike trustee, William Greenwood, Watty Place.


List of Todmorden voters 30th July 1842

William Greenwood, Watty Place, freehold house, mill and land, Watty Mill.

Robert Greenwood, Watty Place, occupier of land, mill etc. Watty Mill.


White 1842-43

Robert and William Greenwood, Watty Place, corn dealers and millers


Walker 1845

William Greenwood & Bros, Watty Place, corn dealers and millers


White 1847

Robert and William Greenwood, Watty Place, corn dealers, millers and maltsters

William Greenwood & Bros; corn dealers, millers and maltsters


White 1853

William Greenwood & Bros; corn dealers, millers and maltsters


Todmorden Rates Book 1860-65

Owned and occupied by Greenwood Bros; Watty Place; corn mill; rateable value £102.8s.0d.

Todmorden Rates Book 1866

Owned and occupied by Greenwood Bros; Watty Place; corn mill; rateable value £77.5s.0d.

White 1866

Greenwood Bros. corn dealers, millers and maltsters, John living at Harehill, Robert at Watty Place.


Todmorden Rates Book 1867-71

Owned and occupied by Robert Greenwood; Watty Place; corn mill; rateable value £77.5s.0d.


Kelly 1871

Greenwood Bros. corn dealers, millers and maltsters, Watty and Ewood malt Kiln

Todmorden Rates Book 1873-81

Empty; owner Robert Greenwood; Watty Place; corn mill.


Todmorden Rates Book 1885

Water power not used.


Todmorden Rates Book 1886-90

Occupiers Ogden and Heyworth; owner Robert Greenwood’s executors; Watty Place; rateable value £30.


Slater 1887

Ogden & Heyworth, corn.


Kelly 1893

Ogden & Heyworth, corn millers.


Kelly 1897

John Thomas Ogden, corn miller