Rolfe Mill


Street Sign



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In 1784 Wm.Sheppard built what is usually referred to as ‘Rolfe’s mill’ on Johnson’s Croft close to Blackshaw Clough where it passed through ‘Old’ Glossop on Brookside [now Wesley Street]. This venture was half way between the domestic system and the later larger factories and employed at least 10 workers in 1792 but seems to have been still concerned with hand operated machines.

Inventions such as Kay’s ‘Flying Shuttle’ [1733] for the loom and the spinning machines of Hargreaves [Spinning Jenny-1764-70], Arkwright [Water powered frame for spinning] and Crompton’s ‘Mule’ spinning machine[1772-9] and Cartwrights water powered loom [1785] must eventually have come to the valley and the textile manufacturers needed to utilise this new technology to make a profit. For this larger premises were needed.

By the Brook Street [now Wesley St.], in Old Glossop first Willliam Sheppard, then Benjamin Rolfe owned a mill where several skilled workers worked together but soon water power began to be used to drive ever larger spinning and weaving machines.

Sheppard took out a lease on October 1st 1784 by the Brook on what is now Wesley St and built the mill which was later converted to cottages c 1807, the warehouse being the building at right angles to the street, Benjamin Rolfe was the first tenant and later John Shepley and Samuel and Joseph Fielding

Rolffe Mill Map


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