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Matlock Bath: Masson Mill from Harp Edge, about 1900
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Masson Mill's Water Wheel, about 1930

Woodbank and Masson Mill from Harp Edge,
about 1910

Arkwright & his Cotton Mill

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 their premises[1].

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[2]. The Derbyshire 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[3].

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[4]. The goyt also had to be diverted to allow for the extensions[1]. Benjamin Bryan, writing in 1903, noted that the high wall which screened the mill from the road was also pulled down[5]. 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.

Masson Mill
South End

Harp Edge and the view are mentioned in Hall's "Days in Derbyshire", 1863, Chapter the Sixth. Via Gellia, Stonnus, and Fox Cloud.

1, 2 and 3. "Matlock Bath". The Wrench Series, No.425. Printed in Saxony. Posted in Derby 23 Dec 1904. A Christmas Greeting.
Postcard in the collection of and provided by and © Susan Tomlinson.
Information researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

References (coloured links are to transcripts or more information elsewhere on this web site):

[1] "Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald", 4 November 1899.
[2] "Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald", 10 August 1898.
[3] "Derby Mercury," 22 September 1897.
[4] "Derby 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 1916 Directory
[5] Bryan, Benjamin (1903) "History of Matlock - Matlock, Manor and Parish" London by Bemrose & Sons, Limited.