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Honley Mill

A Grade II Listed Building in Holme Valley, Kirklees

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Latitude: 53.6058 / 53°36'20"N

Longitude: -1.7894 / 1°47'21"W

OS Eastings: 414034

OS Northings: 412157

OS Grid: SE140121

Mapcode National: GBR HVYR.D4

Mapcode Global: WHCB7.HM4L

Entry Name: Honley Mill

Listing Date: 28 October 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1420203

Location: Holme Valley, Kirklees, HD9

County: Kirklees

Civil Parish: Holme Valley

Built-Up Area: Holmfirth

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Honley St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Leeds

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A former corn mill of the late eighteenth century later converted to textile manufacture with an attached nineteenth century range, in coursed gritstone with modern roof coverings, now in use as a corn feed mill.


Honley Mill is a former woollen (scribbling) and corn mill of the early to mid-C18, with later C19 and C20 additions, now an agricultural merchant premises.

MATERIALS: the eighteenth and nineteenth century buildings are in coursed squared gritstone, with modern roof coverings.

PLAN: the site lies immediately to the east of the River Holme which runs from south to north past the mill. A mill race formerly ran from a weir on the river through the western side of the buildings. The southern block has three storeys (including attic) plus basement, with gables to east and west. Attached to its northern side is a two storey plus basement block (eighteenth century mill), aligned north-south. A further block attached to the north of the eighteenth century mill and a shed attached to the west are not included in the listing.

Eighteenth-century mill: the front, east elevation has two storeys plus a basement level. The first floor has a central taking in door, with two three-light flat-face stone mullioned windows to the left, and a two-light and a three-light flat-face stone mullioned window to the right. The ground floor also has a central taking-in door, with evidence of an earlier opening showing in the surrounding stonework. The windows, two-light mullions on either side of the door, are set high up in the wall. Immediately below the door is a low entrance into the basement floor which has blocked windows on either side, indicating a lower original ground level. The west elevation has a basement level opening into a later shed and blocked windows at all levels. Some of these were mullioned similar to those on the east elevation and are blocked with stone, while others have been enlarged and altered and are blocked with breeze blocks. On the south side are openings into the C19 southern block. There is a canopy supported on iron brackets below the first floor, extending from the right hand edge of the taking in door to half way across the southern block.

Southern Block: the building is seven bays long. The east gable end has a central entrance raised above ground level and approached from a short flight of stone steps to the side, and a lower entrance to the right leading to a basement level. There is a single window at ground floor level and three at first floor level, all with later glazing in plain stone surrounds. In the gable is a Palladian window, the outer lights of which are blocked. There is a raised gable at the join with the C18 building. The west gable has three full storeys owing to the fall in ground level alongside the river. There are three windows on each of three levels plus the attic. The lower windows are square, the upper floor windows taller with only the central ones not blocked, and all have later glazing in plain stone surrounds. The south side has two floors of windows, of which alternate ones are blocked. The upper part of a blocked wheel arch is visible towards the rear (west end). There are widely spaced dentils on the south side eaves.

Eighteenth-century mill: the interiors are open on each level. All the floors have been strengthened with rolled steel beams and columns. Original wooden floors survive on most of the first floor with access hatches and some later flooring. Wooden beams support the collar trusses which appear to be contemporary with the replaced roof covering and may have occasioned an alteration to the wall plate. The corrugated roof covering is open to the first floor. There are access openings to the southern block, and into the attached shed at basement level.

Southern block: each floor is open with some with some minor modern partitions. Steel columns and beams support the floors throughout, reinforcing the surviving wooden structures. The roof structure is twentieth century with steel trusses and roof lights on the northern side. The upper part of the blocked arch for the mill race is visible on both sides of the basement level.

Pursuant to s.1 (5A)(b) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that the interior of the southern block (including the roof structure), the steel reinforcements in the C18 mill and roof coverings of both are not of special architectural or historic interest.

This list entry was subject to a Minor Enhancement on the 31/03/2016


The earliest surviving element, the central building, originated probably as a corn mill, dated stylistically to the eighteenth century. A record of 1805 states that it was built with £400 given by Lord Dartmouth on whose estate it stood. This may refer to costs that had been incurred earlier, to the southern block, or to buildings at the northern end that have now gone. It is recorded in 1828 as both a corn mill and a scribbling mill of three floors with a water wheel and three pairs of stones. A sale of the same time records three scribbling engines, three carding engines, three 50-spindle billies, teaser, plucker, millstones and other articles for both functions. In 1834 it was let to Thomas Hinchcliffe and John Heap for 14 years, and they were charged with repairing the water wheel, gears, shuttles and all other work. They were described as scribbling and fulling millers in 1841 at which time the business became Hinchcliffe & Bros.

A beam engine was operational in 1848 as well as the water wheel. In 1849 Joseph Hinchcliffe was prosecuted for possession of 900lbs of woollen waste, and a description of the contents of the mill, which included an engine house, showed that the business was scribbling or spinning wool supplied by other manufacturers for return after processing. In 1852 the mill, which had recently changed hands (presumably after the court case), was affected by flooding, and in 1871 there was a sale of yarn after the bankruptcy of Joseph Pontefract. The mill was let in 1877, when it contained four condensers and spinning mules.

The 1854 Ordnance Survey 1:10560 map shows buildings on the site, though it would appear that, if the footpath was in the same position as now, the southern building had not yet been built and the northern section had a different configuration. The 1892 OS 1:2500 map shows the southern part of the site approximately as it now stands, but still with a different configuration to the northern end. A mill race is shown running through the southern building and through an extension to the west of the central block. The site is identified as a corn mill. It was bought in c.1905 by Samuel Drake and has since then been an animal feed mill, with later alterations to the northern part including the construction of multiple feed hoppers both within the northern building and outside.

Reasons for Listing

Honley Mill, Holmfirth, a late-C18 former corn mill later converted to textile manufacture with C19 additions, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Date: the central mill dates to the late eighteenth century and therefore falls into the category of buildings, defined by the Principles of Selection (2010), that are usually listed;
* Historic interest: the extant buildings, successors to evidence of a fulling mill on the site reaching back to the sixteenth century, represent an early development of the nationally important textile industry of West Yorkshire in the late eighteenth century;
* Architecture: the architecture of the buildings is of special interest in demonstrating the emergence of the textile industry from earlier smaller industries, reflected in the domestic vernacular style of the central mill and the later nineteenth century style of the southern block;
* Size: Honley is an unusual survival of an early, small textile operation in a region dominated by large integrated complexes.

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