#607 – Lancashire Rural Industry 1 – Cheesden Lumb Mill

This mill had been on my list of places to look at for many years, but it’s one of those places that is not going to be demolished (although it could just fall down of it’s own volition, I suppose) so has never been a priority to visit.

This is another one of those long abandoned mills that are hidden away from view, of which there are a few scattered around the north. I’ve visited Griffe Mill a couple of times, and there are some near Hebden Bridge that are on my list to visit at some point, as well as a couple near this place.

Cheesden Lumb Mill was built in 1796 and closed for business in 1898 so has been abandoned for longer than it was in use. Time has not been kind. Unlike Griffe Mill, where much of the mill remains, all that remains standing above ground level is a single wall. Yes, there are bits of wall sticking out of the hillside as well as some stones on the ground where walls would have been but that’s it really. More of the facade existed until 1990 when severe gales badly damaged it, but some of it was rebuilt. There’s a good picture on Geograph here taken in 1975.

The Cheesden Valley was home to several other mills in the 1800’s, doubtless attracted by the river that flowed from the wet moorlands to power the waterwheels. But they were all closed by the end of the 19th century, probably unable to compete with their more modern, steam driven competitors in the suburbs. I would imagine the very remote locations of these mills would not have made business any easier either.

Other than Lumb Mill, very little evidence remains of the industry in this valley. I’ve yet to visit them, but further down the valley there is a solitary chimney standing at the site of Washwheel Mill, and a few walls at Deeply Vale Mill but that’s pretty much it.

A history of the mill and the valley can be found here and here.

From a photographic perspective I struggled a bit, partly my own fault for going on a grey, drizzly day that made getting any contrast in the photograph hard work in post processing. But I struggled to find any interesting compositions as well, I just didn’t find the scene very interesting on the day. The most interesting aspect of the site is probably the waterfall emerging from the side of the mill, but the overhanging trees made it hard to bring this out. Probably worth a winter revisit to see if I can get a different perspective, it certainly worked at Griffe Mill.

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