The last time we passed this way, 15 years previously, there were posters to stop the proposed conversion to luxury apartments. It obviously failed and the area looks pretty posh now.
The mill is located by the side of the River Wye about 2 miles from Litton village. Now converted into luxury apartments, the Litton Mill complex has a notorious history involving cruelty, torture and a high rate in apprentice and child labour mortality. In fact, it is reputed that burials were made at several locations in an attempt to cover up the number of deaths.
Ellis Needham was a millowner or factory master with the worst reputation. He established the mill back in 1782 and together with his partner Thomas Firth attempted to sell the premises in 1786. Their advertisement stated well supplied by hands from the neighbouring villages at low wages ! When the mill failed to sell, Needham took to apprenticing parish orphans and paupers, some of whom were brought from London or other large cities. They worked long hours with poor food, in bad conditions, and were beaten and abused. In 1815 Needham was declared bankrupt so ironically his cost-cutting measures did not pay off. The mill was taken over by a succession of owners, one of whom was the much kinder Henry Newton, and by 1857 there were 400 employees. As with many of the mills, fire struck at Litton and new buildings were constructed. In 1934 it was bought by Anglo-French Silk Mills Limited and produced artificial silk and man-made fibres. In 1963 Litton Mill changed hands and manufactured textured yarns until its closure in the 1970 s. For many years the mill lay empty and derelict before planning permission was approved for its conversion into living accommodation.
I am delighted that you have linked me from my photos of the site of the mill at Monsildale, Queensland to this one of the Mill at Monsal Dale. Their histories are somewhat different but there are some interesting connections. The mill at Monsildale was a sawmill, and it was quite an enterprise but it didn't operate for many years before all the mill houses were relocated out of the valley to another village on the range.
Funnily, when my grandfather left here after only a year or so working for this mill, he was employed in Imbil at Lutton Mill!
Hi Peter!Tale of sorrow on the mill windows.
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Photo taken in Litton, Derbyshire SK17, UK
Misplaced? Suggest new location