King's Mill, King's Mill Lane, Huddersfield
- location: King's Mill Lane, Huddersfield
- status: no longer exists
- category: corn & woollen mill (1851 & 1890 maps), woollen mill (1905 map)
Discovering Old Huddersfield
Extract from Discovering Old Huddersfield (1993-2002) by Gordon & Enid Minter:
Just after the Shorefoot weir look over the fence on the right to see a much silted up channel running alongside the road. This was the tail race from the King's Mill, the mill itself being built at the head of an arc in the river. The cutting of the channel to carry spent water from the mill wheel to the other end of the arc made a small island of the land between it and the river. Mill, goit and island are shown just so on the 1634 map but the mill and the goit are older than that as the 1584 Survey of the Manor of Almondbury states "...her Majesty hath one water mill within the said Manor of Almondbury and sometime had one fulling mill standing on the tayle goit end of the said corn mill which is now utterly decayed."
The King's Mill was Almondbury's manorial corn mill. All tenants were obliged to grind their corn at the mill and had to pay for the privilege. These payments were often in kind, the fee at the King's Mill in 1584, for instance, being one sack of corn in sixteen. In addition, the tenants had, at their own expense, to keep the mill, the wheel and the dam in good repair.
It seems likely that as well as grinding corn the King's Mill, from its earliest days, also worked fulling hammers for there is reference as early as 1340 to a fulling mill in Almondbury. A further connection with textiles is found at the same time in a reference to a dyehouse worth six shillings and eight pence. The name King's Mill dates from the time when the Crown owned the Manor of Almondbury. In 1627 when Sir John Ramsden bought the manor, the mill became his exclusive property but although the old name thus become inaccurate it was to persist through the centuries.
The King's Mill continued working as a corn mill until 1915 when the water wheel was removed. In 1918 it was sold by the Ramsdens to a Joseph Kay and from that time it was run as a textile mill. The last owners were Kay Brown Ltd., Woollen Manufacturers. The building was badly damaged by fire in the late 1960s and was eventually demolished in 1983. It stood on the right hand side of the road which had to bend to go round it. Thus, today, the bend nicely locates the site of the mill, part of which is now occupied by a small industrial building. On the opposite side of the road new apartments are presently being built on the site of another, much later, mill.
Just past the site of King's Mill is a long weir which cuts off the arc of the river and which was built to provide the head of water necessary for turning the mill wheel. A weir is shown in just this position on the 1634 map to which this must be a successor. In 1716 the land opposite the weir was called Damside Close and it was at Damside that a group of men met to survey the King's Mill on the 23rd May 1743. They were the steward and jurors of the manor court and with them were several freeholders and tenants whose bounden duty it was to repair the dam. Evidently there had been some friction and disagreement about liability which had resulted in the dam falling into disrepair. The result of the inquiry led to an important concession for whilst the tenants were to continue with their statutory duty, the lord of the manor was to provide sufficient timber and to allow stones to be taken from the most convenient place in the manor for repairing the dam.
Historic England Listing
The following listing was made prior to the mill's demolition in the 1980s.
- Grade II
- first listed 29 September 1978
- listing entry number 1135018
KINGS MILL LANE (East Side). Kings Mill. Late C18 or early C19. Pitched stone slate roof. 4 storeys. Stone brackets to gutter. Coped gable ends. 12 ranges of windows, many retaining original glazing bars. Staircase projection, with loading doors, in centre of south side. The westernmost range of windows on south side has pediment-shaped coped gable over: blocked loading doors in this range suggest that present staircase block is an addition. The manorial mill of the Manor of Almondbury, and this one of the earliest mills in Huddersfield.