New Mills

Extract from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England, 1831.
Transcribed by Mel Lockie, © Copyright 2010
Lewis Topographical Dictionaries

NEW-MILLS, a district (manufacturing), in the parish of GLOSSOP, hundred of HIGH-PEAK, county of DERBY, 21 miles (N.W.) from Derby, and 170 (N.W. by N.) from London, containing about 5000 inhabitants, Its original name was Bowden-Middle-Cale. Situated along the north bank of the Guyt, and reaching from Kinder-Scout to Mellor, it formerly comprised seven hamlets, but about a century ago it was subdivided, three of the hamlets remaining attached to Hayfield, and the other four, Beard, Ollerset, Whitle, and Thornset, being formed into a township; formerly the whole of the inhabitants of the hamlets included in Bowden-Middle-Cale were accustomed to grind their corn at a common mill in Hayfield, but upon their subdivision, a new mill was erected upon the river Kinder, in the hamlet of Ollerset, and the name of New Mills was, in consequence, conferred on the four above-mentioned hamlets, the inhabitants of which ground their corn here.

The Kinder derives its source from the mountain of Kinder-Scout, and, separating the county of Derby from that of Chester, falls into the river Guyt at a place called the Tor. The appellation of New Mills is yet more definitely applied to a cluster of factories and houses, which rise one above another from the brink of the river to the summit of the Crags, a height of several hundred feet, and also extend along the turnpike-road, as far as London Place. The original branches of manufacture in this district were those of paper and cloth, which have been superseded by cotton, calico-printing, and bleaching works, &c.: coal mines abound in the neighbourhood, and contain some veins of lead-ore.

In the year 1821, Mr. John Potts conceived the idea of adapting the method used by engravers in the potteries to the purposes of calico-printing, with the view of producing a more durable and brilliant effect than had hitherto been obtained in that branch of the art; his experiment was crowned with complete success, and proved the origin of a style of engraving which has been adopted by every calico engraver in that branch, not only in Great Britain and Ireland, but throughout the whole of Europe and the United States: the engraving establishment, belonging to the firm of Potts, Oliver, and Potts, is a neat and spacious fabric of red brick, tastefully decorated with various statues and vases, and affords employment to about one hundred artists; in the grounds at the back of the works is an extensive picture gallery, containing specimens of painting in oil and water colours, by Mr. John Potts; this repository promises at no very distant period, to become an object of considerable interest to the scientific traveller.

A local subscription, amounting to £1000, has been raised towards the erection of a new church; the sum of £2500 has been granted by the parliamentary commissioners, in aid of the work; and a piece of ground has been given by Lord George Cavendish, for the site of the edifice, which will contain five hundred free sittings. The living will be a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry of Derby, and diocese of Lichfield and Coventry, and in the patronage of the Vicar of Glossop. There are places of worship for Independents, and Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists. A charity school in the hamlet of Whitle, erected by subscription, affords gratuitous instruction to nine poor children, and the master receives about £10. 10. per annum, arising from bequests, by Mary Trickett, in 1712, and Ralph Bowden, in 1730; besides which, on a division of the common lands of Whitle, an extensive allotment was assigned towards the support of the school.

BEARD, a hamlet in the parish of GLOSSOP, hundred of HIGH-PEAK, county of DERBY, 4 miles (N.W. by N.) from Chapel en le Frith, containing 332 inhabitants.

OLERSET, a hamlet in the parish of GLOSSOP, hundred of HIGH-PEAK, county of DERBY, containing 293 inhabitants.

THORNSETT, a hamlet in the parish of GLOSSOP, hundred of HIGH-PEAK, county of DERBY, 5 miles (N.W. by N.) from Chapel en le Frith, containing 758 inhabitants.

WHITTLE, a hamlet in the parish of GLOSSOP, hundred of HIGH-PEAK, county of DERBY, 6 miles (N.W.) from Chapel en le Frith, containing 1696 inhabitants.
[Ed: Lewis also places Whitle with Mellor]

This is a Genealogy Website
URL of this page:
Logo by courtesy of the Open Clip Art Library