Here's my research note on the mill....
Booth Bridge farm and mill, Thornton in Craven.
I Received this private message, not being a born & bred Barlicker I haven't a clue where Booth Bridge is, Can you Help?
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my wife has been researching her family tree and had a relative listed as living at Booth Bridge. it was back in the 1700s and she was married at 15 to a farmer of booth bridge. is booth Bridge the farm or the name of an area. Its the first time we've seen it mentioned anywhere apart from the records of marriage and births.
I got this mail from Doc this morning, the easiest way to reply is to trawl the index entries. There certainly is a Booth Bridge and it’s at Thornton in Craven. The OS reference is SD 913478.
INDEX ENTRIES FOR BOOTH BRIDGE AS OF 03 November 2004.
[c.1960?] ‘Half a century ago there was a thriving industry at Booth Bridge where the brothers Henry and Vandeleur Wilkinson had a bobbin mill. [A mill making wooden bobbins for the textile industry] The firm also made barrows and agricultural implements. The motive power was a waterwheel. Since the removal of the business to Heysham the buildings have fallen into decay. [many bobbin and shuttle makers removed to the west coast early in the 20th century to take advantage of cheap hardwood imported via Heysham, Liverpool and Preston. Bobbins benefited particularly from the better materials as with increasing spindle speeds thay had to be made far more accurately.]
1822 Baines directory
Notes John Wilkinsons as wood turner of Booth Bridge Thornton. In the same directory there is a mention of Richard Green of Earby, cotton spinner and it’s possible this was a small, short-lived enterprise at Booth Bbridge.
Booth Bridge, Thornton in Craven. Henry Wilkinson, 45, timber merchant. Wife Margaret, 40. Elijah, 20. John, 20. Mary, 20. George 15. Sagar, 15. Henry, 15. Vandeleur, 7 years.
Booth Bridge Mill marked as ‘sawing’ on the 1st edition OS map.
The mill was conveyed to J W Wasney Esq. Of Fence End Thornton from the Lister-Kaye estate. [Sir John Lister-Kaye of Denby Grange, Yorks.] [Badgery Papers 1056/117] The conveyance was dated 4th November 1865 and the tenant was Henry Wilkinson who owned the mill fixtures except for the water wheel. The sale was on the 9th October 1865. John Wilkinson Wasney bought the mill, wheel, goit, house, warehouses, two cottages and shops, orchard gardens and yards. Also Barn, mistal, stable sheds and yards. Field names bought were Rampshire Mire, Windhill Field, Mill Holme. Price was £3,450 plus timber valuation of £50. He paid £84-10-0 deposit.
J W Wasney granted his interest in Booth Bridge to John Hill Smith of Middle Temple to hold in trust for his cousin John Wilkinson of 1 Cambridge Place, Regent’s park, London.
J W Wasney conveys his interest in trust to a lawyer to hold in trust for him and his family.
J W Wasney mortgages the Booth Bridge property for £2,000. Various mortgages until 16th March 1884 when J W Wasney dies and is buried at Barnoldswick.
3rd of May 1890. Will of Henry Wilkinson, wood turner of Thornton in Craven [died 13 October 1890] mentions his son(?) Henry Wilkinson Pickles of Thornton in Craven, wood turner and Joseph Holgate of Thornton wood turner. This will also mentions a partnership between Henry Wilkinson and Vandeleur Wilkinson trading as Henry and Vandeleur Wilkinson. [Barrett Directory for 1896 notes Henry W Pickles as fried fish dealer in Earby.]
Elizabeth V Wilkinson of 1 Cambridge Place, Regent’s Park comes into possession of the property.
29th July 1914.
Sale of property by auction.
May 1918. Thomas William Eglin of Habergham Hall Farm seems to have bought the property for £25?. In the same year, Eglin sells the property to Amos Nelson for £3150.
Calf Hall Shed Co. minute books report on 21/09/1892 that the pumping engine at Wellhouse Mill to be offered to Mr Vandeleur Wilkinson of Booth Bridge along with the engine bed as it now stands for the sum of £45.
2nd of August 1922. Amos Nelson sells Booth Bridge to Earby UDC for £3580.
See LTP transcript 78/AH/12 for illegal felling of trees at Booth Bridge for fuel during the General Strike.
Craven Herald 24/10/1930. Earby Council discuss the matter of the sale of Booth Bridge Farm. The Earby Council purchased the farm in 1922 ‘for certain purposes’. And it was no longer needed. [sewage works?] It was finally decided that it would be foolish to buy the farm at the top of the market, spend money on it and then sell it when the market was depressed. It was decided to retain the property.
Report in Craven Herald, 12/08/1932. The death is reported of Joseph Holgate (78) of Wentcliffe, Stoneybank, Earbby. For generations his family made bobbins at the two storey water mill at Booth Bridge Farm. He learned his trade from his father, Samuel Holgate. The business ceased about 1912 when it moved to Heysham and several members of the family carried on. The wood for the bobbins was felled by the family and carted from North Ribblesdale using six horse cart teams. When the firm stopped turning at Booth Bridge Joseph Holgate stayed in the district farming. He had Highgate and Batty House farms before helping his daughters in a confectionery business in Water Street Earby which they had established.
Lewis Wilkinson takes over Booth Bridge as tenant.
See LTP transcript 78/AA/01. Side 2. Page 2. Jim Pollard talks about going to Wilkinson’s Farm at Booth Bridge to collect skimmed milk for baking milk cakes at the family bakery in Red Lion Street.
LTP. 82/HD/05. Page 19. Harold Duxbury talks about Booth Bridge as a bobbin mill. He says the Wilkinsons moved their business to Heysham in the 1920s. [1912 according to CH report] There were three sons, he can’t remember the eldest but the next two were Cecil and Bevis. Cecil died in 1981 and in 1982 Bevis was still alive. He doesn’t think that these Wilkinsons are related to the Wilkinsons that are there now. [still there in 2002]
24th April 2003.
I spoke to Lillian Bancroft at Thornton. Her husband was Harold bancroft who died in 2001. She said there were Bancrofts at Boothe Bridge in the 1920s. Since then, Boothe House has been incorporated in Booth Bridge Farm. The Miss Bancroft that Fred Inman talks about in his transcribed tapes [see LTP] who gave him and his brother mince pies was Martha Bancroft who never married. The father and most of the family lived at Brown House in Thornton. In the 1960s I used to pick up Lillian dn Harold’s milk when they farmed at Pasture Head and Harold’s brother farmed Skelda, bbith at West Marton.
NOTES AND ENTRIES FROM MY WATERMILL FILE.
BOOTH BRIDGE MILL, THORNTON IN CRAVEN
FORMERLY CALLED THORNTON MILL.
see Yorkshire Cotton, J Ingle.
1798. John Broughton of Thornton in Craven insured 'cotton' mill for:
cotton mill £50
over 20 people were employed in 1820. The mill burned down in 1813, was
rebuilt in 1814 with a new thirty feet diameter water wheel. Ingle says that by
1822 Richard Green was tenant and still spinning cotton. However, Baines
1822 gives John Wilkinson, Wood turner, as tenant. Richard Green is
mentioned in the same directory as 'cotton spinner of Earby'.
EARBY MILL. To be let, for a Term of Years, and entered upon Immediately. All that Cotton Mill, lately burnt down, at Earby, in the Parish of Thornton, Craven, with a good new water wheel, thirty feet in diameter, and a fall of never failing water, upwards of thirty four feet, with a good new-built dwelling house, nearly adjoining, and near to the populous town of Earby, where hands may be had in plenty, and at a cheap rate. The above is situate about a mile from the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, which opens a ready conveyance for goods through Yorkshire and Lancashire. The occupier may be accommodated with a reasonable quantity of land adjoining. The above is well adapted for either a cotton, worsted or woollen manufactory. For particulars apply to Mr John Broughton, Thornton, who will shew the premises, and to Mr Addinell, Tadcaster. [From "The Leeds Mercury", Saturday June 11th 1814.]
In 1851 census Robert Wilkinson is mentioned as 'Wood turner of Booth
Bridge. See interview with Mr Wilkinson 21/5/84. Be careful here, there are two different sets of Wilkinsons, the owner and the later family who were tenants, no relation. New bobbin mill built by the original Wilkinsons who later moved to Heysham. Mill put up for sale in 1865 by John Lister Kaye Bart. See accompanying copy of Doreen Crowther research on the mill.
BOOTH BRIDGE MILL. DOREEN CROWTHER RESEARCH
24th Nov 1865 Conveyance from Sir John Lister, Lister Kaye of Denby Grange Co. York Part (1) Dame Matilda L.K. his wife (02) Isaac Fryer of Ken-son, parish of Great Lawford, Esquire (3) to John Wilkinson Wasney of Thornton in Craven Co. York Esq. (4)
Whereas said Sir John L.L.K. became entitled on death of his eldest son L L Kaye Esq. 2nd April 1865 to an inheritance of and in (inter alia) the messuages,
houses, cottages, mills, Goit, water Wheel, barn, stables, outbuildings, farms, lands and hereditaments to be conveyed and subject to an annuity to his wife granted by indentures of 20th and 21st October 1824 and also to a mortgage for securing the transfer into the names of the Earl of Stamford and Warrington,
Sir Edward Smith Dodsworth and Chas. Are both not of the sum of £25, 824 4th and 5th March 1840 which man transferred on 3rd Feb 1884 to Godfrey Wentworth, Geo. L.L.K., Sir Geo. Armitage and John George Smith and by them transferred to and now vested in Isaac Fryer by Indenture of 23rd Feb
1858 and J. W. W. has agreed with Sir John Lister Lister Kaye for absolute
purchase for £3472, and all surrendered.
ALL that farm called Booth Bridge Farm and the Booth Bridge Mill formerly called Thornton Mill with the water wheel and goit and messenger house, warehouse. cottages. shops, orchards. gardens, barns etc. etc. and ALL those closes called Rampshire, Mire Rampshire, Windhill field, White Crofts (3) and Mill Holme and 46acres 2rods 27perch timber, trees etc. etc. Water mill, Goit etc.
27th Oct 1866 Conveyance. J. W Wasney of T. in C. Esq. (1) to John Wilkinson of no 1 Cambridge Place, Regents Park Esq. (2) and John Hill Smith of the Middle Temple Esq. (3) for love and affection of (1) to (2) his cousin (1) grants to (3) ALL as above to hold to the use of (2).
29th Jan 1865 Marriage Settlement 29th Jan. 1868 between (2) above (1) and Eliz. Vaughan Holberton of Teddington Spinster (2) and Edward Thos. Holberton of Norbiton, Surrey Gent. and John Hill Smith Barrister at Law (3) In consideration of marriage between (1) and (2) J0. conveys above to (3) in trust for themselves and children.
3rd Nov. 1875 Conv. from J0hn Wilkinson Wasney of T. in C. Esq. (1) to Rev. Lawrence Burke Morris of Burdsall Yorks Clerk (2) in cons. of £2,000.
1st Sept 1883. Conv. John Wilkinson of 1 Cambridge Place, Regent’s Park Esq, (1) Thos. Kemmis Bros. of 24 Wormwood St Solicitor (2) £500 mortgage.
20th Apr 1887 Mort. to J. W. and T. K. B. from Mary Cowcher of High Street, Battle, Sussex, widow (3) £1,000 to repay T. K. B. Reciting 16th Mar 1884 death of J. W. W. at Fence End Thornton. Buried in Barnoldswick.
10th May, 1892 Eliz V. Wilkinson. of 1 Cambridge Place, widow to Mary Cowcher, further mortgage of £1000.
6th Apr 1892 Rev L. Ball of Burdsall (1) Ellen Smith of Fence End, widow. (2) to B.V.W. (3) Conveyance of Booth Bridge farm to (3).
29th Jul 1914 Sale by auction.
13th May 1918. John Wilkinson Esq. of Fence End. Of Mansion House. Greenock, Renfrew Esq. the Vendor (1) John Ducane Wilkinson of Witham Court, Essex, Esq. and Rev Richard Thorman of Christ Church Vicarage, Skipton. (2) Thos Wm. Eglin of Habergham Hall Farm, Burnley Farmer, purchaser for £25. Reciting Will of Ellen Smith 21st July 1902 appg. Osborne Reynolds, William Henry Wilkinson executors and Trustees and devising hereditaments to Vendor, and died 29th May 1905 and Probate 28th July at Wakefield. Plot at T. in C. bounded on 3 by land of Robert Shuttleworth, W. by [Midland] Ry. and other by Booth Bridge Farm 1 ½ acres.
29th Jan 1921. Sale by private treaty:- All that inheritance in fee simple of and in the farmhouse, Messuage and Tenement known as Booth Bridge in U.D. of Earby, W.R. Yorks. with the farm buildings. And several closes of land and the Cottages, orchards, saw mill and premises near thereto. Together with the full benefit and advantage of an agreement of 30th June 1902 made between Eliz. Vaughan Wilkinson and the Earby Water Company Limited.
4th Nov 1918. Conveyance from Thos. Eglin of CaIderhead Farm, Cliviger, Burnley, Farmer (1) to Amos Nelson of Nelson and of Thornton in Craven, W.R. Cotton manufacturer (2) purchaser for £3150 of ALL that Farmho. Mess. and Tent. known as Booth Bridge and barn, shippon, stable etc and closes of land in occ. of William Bancroft and cottage and orchard in occ. of Gilbert Eastwood and the saw mill with the buildings. and premises then unoccupied, all situate near the said Farm House. AND ALL that plot at Thornton in C. bounded on S by land then or late of Robert Shuttleworth, on W by Midlands Ry. from Colne to Skipton and on all other sides by other part of B.B. Farm. 1 ½ acres.
31st Jul 1922. Indenture between Sir Amos Nelson of Manor House Thornton in Craven W.R. (1) and U.D.C. Barnoldswick (2) Grant of Easement for the construction and maintenance of an Aqueduct in the Township of Earby authorised by the Barnoldswick U.D.C. Water Act 1915.
2nd Aug 1q22. Conv. from Sir Amos Nelson of T. in C. (1) to U.D.C. Earby (2) for £3,580 of ALL that Farmhouse etc. Booth Bridge.
5th Oct 1927. Agreement between U.D.C. of Barnoldswick and Earby to use part of the farm for a refuse tip and to build on approach road.
19th Jan 1939. Agreement between U.D.C. of Earby by their Agent Harold Buckley Hanson (1) and Lewis Wilkinson of Booth House. (Tenancy).
SCG research notes.
BOOTH BRIDGE MILL, THORNTON IN CRAVEN. SD 914478
Site investigation, 17 May 1984.
This was a revisit of the site. See references to Booth Bridge Mill in SG local history index for references to the Wilkinson family who operated a timber sawing and bobbin turning business here in the late 19th century.
The site is interesting in that it demonstrates well the transition of a water power site from corn milling to another use. in this case, timber working.
There is the site of a weir in the Earby Beck at SD 911475 and an intact goit with by-wash running NE along the boundary of fields 1853 and 3370 (SD9148 25” map.)
The goit is intact as far as SD 913477. From here it crosses the field and has been filled in. However. the line can be clearly seen as there is a bank on the east side of the line.
The mill building has been much altered but the pedestal blocks of the second motion shaft are still visible. They have heavy oil staining and some of the pedestal bolts with cotters are still in situ though badly corroded. The interior of the building has been gutted and the best evidence can be seen in the exterior walls.
On the East wall of the mill there is a long row of small windows under the eaves which suggest an early use for bobbin turning. There are numerous other openings which have been walled up and the whole building is in an unstable condition.
The tail race course can be seen and from the levels of the race and the beck the wheelpit must have been comparatively deep. Certainly at least 10 ft deeper than the present interior floor level at the SW end of the mill.
To the West of the mill is a more modern building with ample fenestration and evidence inside of two levels, shafting and lathe beds fixed to the wall. There is an opening in the SE wall which looks like a passage for a belt drive from the wheel or other exterior power source to this building.
The evidence for the fact that this has been a corn mill is the fact that in the wall across the lane to the NW of the more modern building are fragments of millstones and rack stones from a corn-drying kiln. There is also a rack stone embedded in the NW gable of the modern building.
The mill is marked on the 1853 OS & map as 'Sawing'
BOOTH BRIDGE MILL, THORNTON IN CRAVEN.
Photographed the mill and the rackstones on Sat 19 May.
Spoke to Mr Wilkinson senior who told me that the wheel was a cast iron one with wooden buckets. He could remember it being scrapped but couldn't tell of the date.
His Father used to work for the Wilkinsons who ran the bobbin mill. They were no relation. His Father told him that when they opened the bobbin mill (The new mill to the West of the old one) in about 1885, the owners gave a dance in the top floor of the building.
The Wilkinsons who ran the business left the area and went to Heysham. Amos Nelson bought the farm Mr Wilkinson says he had the idea of making electricity there but never did. Amos sold the farm apart from one meadow at the East end of the holding to Earby Council. He didn't say who owns it now.
The first edition map of the First OS (1853) shows Booth Bridge as "BOOTH BRIDGE (Sawing)" and also shows a building opposite the new mill on the other side of the lane. This looks as though it was the drying kiln. The new mill is not, of course, shown on this map. This partly confirms Mr Wilkinson’s dating.
The tail race is shown in the position I suspected and is marked as a culvert under the road.
I walked the line of the goit. There is no trace of a by-wash and none marked on the map. There is much stonework in the side of the beck where the weir would have been but none of it is high enough to have given the head necessary to fill the goit. There is no trace either in the North or South side of the beck of the weir. The stonework that remains must be the remnants of the works necessary to protect the downstream foundations of the weir as the land is very sandy bottom land lying on a bad rock strata which is visible further down the beck in the bed.
Whole document re-written by SCG/ 03/11/04
Stanley Challenger Graham
scg1936 at talktalk.net
"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!