The mills evolved here because of the beck which now runs beneath the site. The mill yard was formerly the mill dam.
There is evidence that various industrial buildings occupied the site since the early 1700s, and with the industrial revolution, the buildings were replaced to accommodate new industries and machinery.
John Watkinson built a mill for cotton spinning here around 1797. The mill was later converted to worsted spinning.
The oldest remaining part of the mills is a 5-storey mill at the bottom of the cobbled yard, and was built about the 1820s. The mill has a floor area of 2000 sq ft per floor and a stone spiral staircase in one corner. About 20 years later, as machinery became more advanced, it became bigger and a 5-storey mill – three times the size – was built to the south side. This mill suffered a fire in about 1906, but was repaired and rebuilt.
The 4-storey building which overlooks the mill yard is known as South Mill, and was built in 1873. The chimney was originally 290 ft high and was a twin to the Corona Chimney at Dean Clough.
The 3-storey mill – which fronts onto Holdsworth Road and has Smith Bulmer & Company in the stonework – was built in the late 1890s.
Subsequent owners and tenants of the mills have included
The brick-built 4-storey mill and shed was known as Netherton Mill, and was built just after World War I.
At its height, 600 people were employed by Smith Bulmer at the worsted spinning mill and dye house. This whole complex is Holmfield Mills. Smith Bulmer was bought out by Parkland Textiles in the 1960s.
After the recession of 1980-82, Netherton Mill was sold to Tayson Lighting and was renamed The Focus Centre.
Part of Holmfield Mills – the 3-storey road front mill, the part with the Smith Bulmer name, the mill which runs away from the road behind, making an L shape, and the single-storey shed which completes a square within the L – was sold to Multigraphics.
After these buildings were sold to Tayson and Multigraphics, the rest of the mills were renamed White Rose Mills.
The White Rose Mills were sold to Kino & Company who were originally tailors and furriers in Darley Street, Bradford. Kino also own The Lion Estates & Investment Company in Huddersfield. The company own much property, including Lion Chambers opposite the railway station in Huddersfield. Kino has invested over £1m in White Rose Mills.
The mills now house several businesses, including
With Alliance Office Furniture – which owns Netherton Mill now – Multigraphics and the various businesses in White Rose Mills, the original Holmfield Mills currently provide employment for around 250 people.
Multigraphics have moved out, and the site is being coordinated by Kino & Co
See Walter Brenard and Shay Lane Mill
Page Ref: QQ_40
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