Water Powered Mills in the Upper Calder Valley
The main early use of water powered mills was for grinding corn, but from the 13th century mills were used for a variety of purposes, especially for fulling or thickening woollen cloth.
The really dramatic growth in the number of water powered mills in this area came about with the industrial expansion of the late 18th and early 19th century. Increased population and the rise of the cotton industry meant an increased demand for water to power machinery. Cotton was arriving in this country in large quantities from plantations in America.
What is surprising is how many water powered mills there were in the Upper Calder Valley, and how long they continued in operation.