Clough House Mills, Halifax Old Road, Fartown
- appears on maps: 1892 [#38], 1905 [#8]
- location: corner of Norman Road & Halifax Old Road, Fartown
- status: no longer exists
- category: woollen mill
Companies Linked to this Location
- Middlemost Brothers & Co. Ltd. (cloth manufacturers)
Discovering Old Huddersfield
Extract from Discovering Old Huddersfield (1993-2002) by Gordon & Enid Minter:
At the lowest part of Grimescar Avenue, just past Norman Road, stop briefly by a low brick parapet on the left. A small bridge is marked here on the 1893 O.S map and, although at that time there was no road leading to it from Birkby, there was a footway leading from it up the hillside to Halifax Old Road. This would later be developed as Alwen Avenue. The stream flowing beneath the bridge is the Grimescar Dike which once supplied water to three dams belonging to Clough House Mill over on the right. Until the nineteenth century the Dike meandered on its time-honoured course through the fields of Birkby, Bay Hall and Hillhouse to join the River Colne about one third of a mile upstream from Bradley Mills. In the Hillhouse area the stream, which for centuries was the boundary between Huddersfield and Fartown, is called the Hebble Beck. Originally, however, it was known as the Town Brook and it is tempting to think that from this important watercourse came the surname Brook which is, and always has been, numerous the Huddersfield area. This idea is reinforced by the fact that four Brooks, Henricus, Willelmus, Johannes and Ricardus have their surname recorded as By-the-broke in the Huddersfield Poll Tax returns of 1379.
During the nineteenth century the stream was culverted in the Bay Hall and Hillhouse areas but nevertheless, with the aid of an old map, its course may still be followed to its confluence with the River Colne.
In 1896, Grimescar Dike became a pleasant feature in the newly laid out Norman Park. The stream was dammed to form a small lake below which the water cascaded over four or five stepped ponds before disappearing into a short culvert. An ornamental fountain, the sad remains of which may still be seen, was placed near the centre of the lake. Although today the stream still runs through the park, sadly, lake, ponds and cascades are gone.
As already stated, the dike supplied water to the dams of Clough House Mill which stood on the site of the now empty supermarket on the right. In winter the largest dam, which covered most of the area now occupied by the supermarket car-park, was often used by skaters who illuminated the scene by placing candles in the snow. All three dams were stocked with a wide variety of fish including gudgeon, chubb, perch, trout and dace and must have been an angler's paradise!
The mill is said to have been built circa 1820 although it may be earlier, as the 1797 map shows two small buildings on the site. In its early years it was worked by a large water-wheel, the water being brought from the largest dam along a short goit. The spent water was thrown off the wheel into a paved and walled tail-race. In 1854 the water wheel was replaced by a beam engine.
For thirty-five years, from 1854, the Scholes family of Clough House were in business at the mill as woollen and angora spinners and they added considerably to the premises. After the Scholes left in 1889 the mill was acquired by Messrs Armitage and Clelland, fine cloth manufacturers, whose business failed five years later. In 1895 the premises were bought by Messrs Middlemost Brothers, fancy woollen manufacturers, who continued at the mill until 1971.
Subsequently it was purchased by the Lodge family who demolished most of the old building to make way for Huddersfield's first hypermarket which was built in the lamentable tin and plastic style of the 1970s. At the same time the dams were filled in to provide that most necessary adjunct to modern life, adequate car-parking space. Later, the hypermarket was taken over by Asda who remained there until 1993 when they removed to a new site in Bradford Road. At present (1994) the building is vacant.