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Report - - Dudfleet Mills, Horbury, Wakefield - October 2017 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Dudfleet Mills, Horbury, Wakefield - October 2017



tarkovsky

feeling drained?
Regular User
#1
Another day, another derp...

The History

Dudfleet Mill is one of a number of textile mills located in and around Horbury in Wakefield. Piecing together some history from a number of sources has been a challenge, but interesting.

‘Wool spinning and cloth manufacture were important originally as cottage industries. At the start of the Industrial Revolution steam engines were installed at Race's Mill in Dudfleet and Foster's Mill on Engine Lane in 1795. Resistance to the implementation of new textile machinery and the factory system was shown when Luddites, who blamed the new factories for depriving weavers from earning a living in a time of widespread hunger and poverty, destroyed Fosters Mill.’

(source: http://yorkshire.u08.eu/horbury/)

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As suggested by the above, the mill appears to have been known as Race’s Mill for a time, as it was owned by John Race and Co. A report conducted by the Factory Inquiry Commission on 25th March 1834 was commissioned to examine the employment of children in factories, with the intention of curtailing the hours of their labour. John Race and Co’s responses to the 27 questions asked by the report suggest that their business involved the production of woolen cloths and lambswool yarn. The report outlines the conditions for a number of children working at the factory, revealing at this time that 27 of the 40 strong workforce were boys and girls aged 16 or younger. They conclude that ‘the health of children working in woolen manufactories… is not in the least bit impaired’.

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Source

Later, a transcript of the entry of 'professions and trades' for Horbury in White's Directory of 1887 states that the mill owners were Archer, Ritchie and Co., manufacturers of army & police cloths located both at Dudfleet Mill and at Millfield Mills. Amongst those employed were George Audley (Woolen Overlooker) and Joseph Audsley (Mill Overlooker).

Source

At some point in the early 1900s the mill stood empty, after which it was purchased by James Benjamin Sykes and his brother who turned it into ‘a thriving industrial concern’.

Source

The most recent occupiers of the mill seem to be Fur Fabrics limited, who vacated the property around 2005. More recently, there are recent reports of arson attacks at the mill in 2011 and March 2017. The recent fire seems to have been confined to a couple of rooms, however, with much of the mill still standing and accessible.

The Explore

I wasn't expecting much from this one, but with low expectations I was fairly happy with what I found, considering the fires and the age of parts of the building. Much of the original mill remains accessible, alongside some larger and more recent warehouse buildings (additions from the later 20th century). The mill itself is in a pretty bad state, but there's enough bits and pieces about to make it interesting enough for an hour or so. External shots are hard to get due to the fact that much of the mill is overgrown. It also helps if you don't end up springing out in front of a group of people walking their dogs beside the canal.

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Oh, and beware... Derpcat is always watching:

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Full set here...
 

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