Arkwright's Masson Mill was about to undergo some significant
changes when this photograph was taken. In late 1899 it
was announced that the English Sewing Cotton Company, who
had owned the mill since 1897, had decided to greatly enlarge
The English Sewing Cotton Company was registered on July
16th, 1897 although an Association of the English Sewing
Cotton Manufacturers had existed for some years before then
on a non-joint-stock basis. When the company was first registered
there were seven companies involved but by the date the prospectus
was issued, at end of November the same year, their number
had increased to fifteen.
mills that joined what was described as the Great Thread
Amalgamation were Sir Richard Arkwright and Co., of Cromford,
Matlock, Messrs. G and J. Strutt of Belper and Messrs. S
Manlove and Sons, of Chesterfield and Belper.
The plans to alter Masson Mill had already been drawn up
by late 1899, and the contract was about to be let out. The
building work was to include the erection of a red brick
factory chimney 150 feet high. Mr. William Farnsworth, of
Matlock and Cromford, was responsible for building the chimney.
The goyt also had to be diverted to allow for the extensions. Benjamin
Bryan, writing in 1903, noted that the high wall which screened
the mill from the road was also pulled down.
The wall is mostly hidden by the large tree on the roadside
in this picture.
The buildings on the left hand side of the road include
the Rutland Arms and the properties at South End. Just
past them, above the road, is Masson House.
links are to transcripts or more information elsewhere on
this web site):
Times and Chesterfield Herald", 4 November
 "Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield
Herald", 10 August 1898.
 "Derby Mercury," 22
Daily Telegraph," Tuesday 12 April 1932. William Farnsworth
was living on Holme Road in the
1901 census. He advertised in Kellys
1899 Directory | Kellys
1908 Directory | Kellys
 Bryan, Benjamin (1903) "History
of Matlock - Matlock, Manor and Parish" London by Bemrose & Sons,