My ways and by-ways – Colne Valley Mills in pictures- Crowther Bruce’s, Marsden


This is part of the imposing structure which was known as New Mills. Continuing my jaunt around some of the Colne Valley’s old mill buildings with my camera, I have come back to Marsden, the last village in West Yorkshire’s Colne Valley, which grazes the Lancashire border. In my last post on Colne Valley mills, back on Jan 12th this year, I had a quick look at Bankbottom Mills which were owned by the Crowther family.


I haven’t found out an awful lot about the actual building, but I haven’t really dug too much. At one time there was a chimney, four men were doing repairs when falling masonry hit two of them, knocking them off and killing them.

When the various small mills began springing up in Marsden, there were a lot of them. In 1897 this mill became a limited company, and New Mills became the property of Crowther Bruce and Co Ltd. It was a thriving village centre mill, my grandma worked there for a time I believe. Now, as you see, it is condemned to the weeds and whims of our sometimes harsh Pennine weather.

The front of the building on Brougham Road, straight opposite the mill house where my aunt and uncle lived for many years. My uncle worked further up the hill in the vast Bankbottom mill

The mill shut down in 2002, a year before Bankbottom did. There were ideas of regeneration for both mill buildings in an attempt to reutilise for modern purposes, like has been achieved in the neighbouring village Slaithwaite. A new health centre was considered, but to MPs’ and councilors’ dismay, these plans never came to fruition. The owners seem to want to wait for ‘favourable market conditions’.

From a photography point of view, the various bits of building are really quite interesting to someone like me. There’s a lot of  fab windows, flaky doors, rusty old gates, ponderous perspectives and odd angles.

This is what you see when you poke your camera through the rusty gates – walkways at diverse gradients between buildings. I have an old photograph somewhere of the walkways being green.
Another view of the main gates, now fastened up. I love all the quirky angles
Quite an imposing corner


Not sure how effective these spikes would have been at keeping intruders out of these ground floor offices
I’d love to see what’s inside, bet there’s lots of cool original features
More office windows, this time slightly less ornate, maybe as they were round a side
You can still see the grimy name etched onto the glass
This lane, which runs round the side of the mill used to be where I would walk my daughter to school each morning. It was known as Mill End. Just recently saw it has now been officially named
Small business units now occupy part of the building on said Mill End. The lane to the right leads round the back of the mill and onto Warehouse Hill where the chimney was
Looking back down from Warehouse Hill. The tenterposts are in the grass to the left


Above are the sandstone tenterposts. Rows of them used to hide in the undergrowth. Now they have been uncovered and given listed status as the plaque below explains


More detail and odd angles from the back



The River Colne runs parallel at the back. A lot of the mills were built alongside the rivers
Boats containing goods could often be admitted through a special entrance underneath. The canal, once another supply route, is just across the road from the river


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