Defiance mill was built by Samuel Henshaw in 1800 and
is believed to be the oldest remaining mill structure in
1806 Stephen and John
Sheldon owned it until the mid 19thC.
They are thought to have been spinning cotton. At some time
they may also have been grinding minerals. By 1860 Edmund
Barnes and, later, Thomas Pimlott, were wood turning and
bobbin making there. Edmund Barnes was a 'bobbin skewer'
and general wood turner. This work is known to have been
carried on in the mill next door which we normally refer
to today as the bobbin mill, so it is possible that the two
mills were employed in this work under the same management
and the two mills referred to by the same name.
Both mills were water powered by the Harrop brook which
ran under the bobbin mill. A head of water was provided by
a mill pond located where Pool Bank car park is today. This
pond was abandoned and filled in by about the end of the
19thC and was simply a patch of waste ground for perhaps
50 years. A traveling fair used the space in the early 20thC.
See the page on mill ponds.
Defiance mill is located in Queen
Street, on the corner that
was probably the junction with Defiance Brow, the name then
given to the uphill part of today's Queen Street.
In the late 19thC, Thomas Pimlott and Thomas Gatenby were
bottling water and lemonade in the mill. See Brewers
The mill was fully refurbished in 2000 and converted for
My thanks go to those who researched and discovered the
history that is presented in these pages. Please
read the full acknowledgement of their remarkable achievement.
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