Wood Mill was an old water-driven corn mill (which existed in 1758). In 1788 it was owned by a William Sutcliffe, who also owned Wood Mill Farm nearby.
At a later date (possibly 1907) the road was elevated and a new mill with steam power was erected on the higher side of the road. The mill was used for fustian manufacture (the North light weaving sheds can still be seen in the photo below), and later was used as a saw mill.
At present (2007) the remains of Wood Mill is empty.
WOOD MILL INN
We are unsure of the exact location of the inn. The Inn dates back to the early 19th century and stood near to the mill. It was kept in the 1820s by a Richard Horsfall. In 1868 the landlord Edward Crossley, fell down the stairs and died. Nothing else is known about the Wood Mill Inn.
What seems to have happened is that it was pulled down and a small terrace was built on the site (could this be the terrace referred to below?). The terrace had a butcher shop and a general store and sweet shop which in the 1940s was run by the Stansfields, followed by Annie Jennings. Annie said "every morning the hearth is alive with cockroaches, but what can you expect as the site of the cottages was an old pub" (presumably the Woodmill Inn).
The mill pictured above between the river and the canal was once an extension of Martin Holt's picker works and later was used for weaving heavy cloth. It has since been demolished and replaced.
There was a second mill which was probably the premises of Mr John Clay, marine store dealer. On 23rd March 1898 a fire occurred at this mill when upwards of £300 damage was done.
On the south side of the bridge there were about 6 cottages (since demolished) and a single dwelling (still in existence).
The mill was run by John Holt until the 1930s. He was reputed to be a millionaire although he lived locally in a house called Ventnor and his wife insisted on doing her own housework. He owned a Daimler, but as he couldn't drive, he employed a chauffeur, a Mr Frear who lived in a cottage at Woodmill (near Phillips butcher shop).
Since the picker works closed, it has been used by a number of industries.
Click here for more information on Holts Mill.
This page was last updated April 2009