The Info List - Harle Syke

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HARLE SYKE is a small village within the parish of Briercliffe , situated three miles north of Burnley
, Lancashire
, England. It was the home to eleven weaving firms, working out of seven mills. Queen Street Mill closed in 1982, and was converted to a textile museum, preserving it as a working mill. It is the world's last 19th-century steam powered weaving mill.


* 1 Location * 2 History * 3 The mills * 4 The mill engines * 5 References


Harle Syke
Harle Syke
lies at the edge of the Burnley
urban area connecting it to the village of Haggate . The main road climbs from the Burnley border to the small crossroads in Haggate, with a road between Nelson and Todmorden
. The village dates from the late 19th century, when most of the weaving mills were built.

The origins of the name Harle Syke, first used for a farm nearby, are descriptive; Harle is a person's name, while sike or syke is a local word meaning 'ditch'.

The village itself is relatively flat rising to 800 feet above sea level. To the south is the valley of the River Don or Thursden Brook and to the north is hill of Marsden Height, (270 metres (886 ft)) in Brierfield . The buildings in the village are predominantly stone-built.

All the public houses are open as of 2015, and it has a social club ( Briercliffe Social Club). There is a Church of England
church .

Harle Syke
Harle Syke
has direct road links with Burnley
and Nelson, and is served by local bus services (4,5) operated by Transdev in Burnley
"> St James Church, Harle

Harle Syke
Harle Syke
children went to Haggate School, originally a Sunday school for the Baptist Church, which was built on the site of the Haggate cricket pitch in 1882. Most at 12 would become part-timers at one of the mills, or stay on until 13. The school later became the village primary school , and was more recently used by Burnley
College .


In a sense the village was built up around the cotton weaving sheds, or mills as they were also known. The word 'mill' can refer to the building, or to one of the manufacturing companies that rents space in such a mill. For example, Haggate Weaving Company shared the other half of a mill with Altham's of Heasandford Mill, Burnley. There, the buildings and engine were owned by a room and power company called Briercliffe Mill. Because of the availability of room and power, the Harle Syke
Harle Syke
sheds gave birth to many small companies who grew to build their own reputations and mills in the village, or Burnley
and beyond.

The first steam driven power loom shed in Briercliffe was a 400 loom shed at Lane Bottom set up by William Smith of Hill End in 1848, near his existing hand loom factory, the 1777 Hill Factory. The Extwistle Mill at Extwistle was a small water powered mill with 100 looms, that eventually converted to steam. In spite of the 1826-1848 crisis, handloom weavers were still having work put out to them from outside the district, but the community was suffering extreme poverty. Smith's Mill, or Lane End Mill, took on both young women and young men, their parents sticking to hand loom weaving. The 200 paid jobs it provided set new expectations of income for teenagers in the district.

' Harle Syke
Harle Syke
Shed , the next mill to open in 1858, has an interesting history, not so much for the architecture but the means by which it was financed over the 150 years of its existence. The Haggate Joint Stock Commercial Company was a collaborative venture set up under Sir Robert Peel 's Joint Stock Companies Act of 1844 . 64 wage-earning men and women signed the deed of settlement and agreed to take up one £10 share paying a one shilling deposit. Two thirds of them were weavers. Though co-operative in name, the company structure was structured to make profit, and the companies like this that did make it through the downturn of 1857, and the severe recession caused by the Cotton Famine of 1862-63, were more severe employers than the private family businesses. Shares were traded, and dividend paid, and the shareholders often contributed unpaid work to keep the business as well as having unlimited liability for the companies debts. In effect they were running two businesses, protecting the capital assets that were the buildings, boilers and engine, and then manufacturing and trading in cotton cloth. The five elected directors had a great deal of discretion on how and how long the business should operate.

In 1865, the company was reorganised. The Haggate Joint Stock Commercial Company became solely a room and power company. The looms were disposed of to the shareholders, each receiving a pro-rata allocation. In 1865, the property company appears to have achieved steady growth and was expanded in the 1860s and 1880s. The producer partnerships that were formed when the looms were allocated consolidated, and shares in the room and power 'walls' company were traded resulting in a smaller number of shareholders with larger investments. There were seven 'producer partnerships' in 1865.

Briercliffe Mill was a direct imitation of the reconstituted Harle Syke Mill. It was a pure room and power mill built in 1880 directly opposite it. It was occupied by two firms: Abraham Altham and the Haggate Weaving Company. The Briercliffe Mill Company and the Haggate Weaving Company were both taken over by Taylor "> Mills in Harle Syke
Harle Syke



53°48′44″N 2°12′13″W / 53.8121°N 2.2037°W / 53.8121; -2.2037 (" Briercliffe Mill")

NOTES: Faces Burnley

HARLE SYKE SHED Oxford Mill 1858 Siberia Mill 1903

53°48′44″N 2°12′15″W / 53.8122°N 2.2041°W / 53.8122; -2.2041 ("")

NOTES: The Haggate Joint Stock Commercial Company opened it in 1858 as a production mill, but reorganised it in 1865 to become a 'room and power ' company. Seven producer partnerships were formed by the shareholders who had been allocated looms on a pro rata basis. The companies consolidated into four main businesses. Shares in the room and power 'walls' company were traded resulting in a smaller number of shareholders with larger investments. In 1903, the 'walls' liquidated passing assets to the Harle Syke Mill Company which built a new larger shed, jokingly called Siberia Shed after a delay in providing a heating system. The mill engine which is now displayed in the Science Museum, London, was upgraded.


NOTES: In Lane Bottom


SD868349 53°48′36″N 2°12′07″W / 53.810°N 2.202°W / 53.810; -2.202 ("Kings Mill ")



SD8635 53°48′N 2°12′W / 53.8°N 2.2°W / 53.8; -2.2 ("Oxford Mill ")

NOTES: Faces Burnley


SD8635 53°48′N 2°12′W / 53.8°N 2.2°W / 53.8; -2.2 ("Primrose Mill ")

NOTES: Room and power weaving shed. Now demolished. It was powered by a Pollit -2.202 (" Queen Street Mill
Queen Street Mill
") 1894 Standing 123

NOTES: The mill was built in 1894. It was powered by a 500hp tandem compound by William Roberts of Nelson. 300 of the original 1138 Harling -2.2051 ("Siberia Mill ")

NOTES: Now industrial units occupy the weaving shed.


53°48′37″N 2°12′22″W / 53.8103°N 2.2062°W / 53.8103; -2.2062 ("Walshaw Mill")

NOTES: This was the second 20th-century mill; it faces Talbot Street. It was incorporated 5 January 1905. It was financed with 12000 £1 shares and recapitalised later with an additional 30000. It started with 586 looms which was subsequently increased. It now is used by a pharmaceutical distribution company.


Harle Syke
Harle Syke
is unique in having preserved two of its mill engines. The first is in Queen Street Mill
Queen Street Mill
and has never been moved, but the second is preserved in the Science Museum in London, and came from Siberia Mill. The Queen Street Mill
Queen Street Mill
engine is an 1895 single tandem compound of 500 hp Corliss valves driving a 14 feet (4.3 m) flywheel. The London engine which came from Harle Syke
Harle Syke
mill is a cross compound with Corliss valves driving an 18-ft, 6-inch flywheel. It was constructed in 1903 by Burnley


Wikimedia Commons has media related to HARLE SYKE .


* ^ Roland Kippax, who wrote for the Burnley
Express , says that in his youth there were eleven thriving mills in the village, and named them as Harle Syke
Harle Syke
Mill, James Thornton -webkit-column-width: 30em; column-width: 30em; list-style-type: decimal;">

* ^ A B C D "A potted history of Haggate". Burnley
Express . 2008-08-19. Retrieved 2009-09-29. * ^ "Starship 4 and 5 Timetable" (PDF). Transdev Burnley
& Pendle. Retrieved 2012-08-01. * ^ A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6 (1911), pp. 468–473 Extract at British History Online Accessed 2011 * ^ Bythell & Frost 2009 , pp. 7,10,31. * ^ Bythell & Frost 2009 , p. 5. * ^ Bythell & Frost 2009 , pp. 7,8. * ^ Bythell & Frost 2009 , pp. 12,18. * ^ Bythell & Frost 2009 , pp. 11,12. * ^ Bythell & Frost 2009 , pp. 20,21. * ^ Kippax, Rowland (1 August 1978). "Village had eleven flourishing mills". Briercliffe Society. Burnley, Lancashire: Burnley Express. Retrieved 22 March 2011. * ^ Bythell & Frost 2009 , p. 34. * ^ Bythell & Frost 2009 , pp. 35-7. * ^ Bythell & Frost 2009 , p. 7. * ^ A B C Bythell & Frost 2009 , p. 37. * ^ Bythell & Frost 2009 , p. 32. * ^ Bythell & Frost 2009 , pp. 10,. * ^ Queen Street Mill * ^ Ashmore 1982 , p. 190.


* Ashmore, Owen (1982). The industrial archaeology of North-west England. Manchester University Press. ISBN 0-7190-0820-4 . Retrieved 2009-06-25. * Bythell, Duncan; Frost (2009). A Lancashire
weaving company and its community: Harle Syke
Harle Syke
Mill. Harle Syke, Burnley, Lancashire: The Briercliffe Society. ISBN 978-0-9553100-8-9 .

* v * t * e

Geography of the Borough of Burnley


* Burnley
* Padiham

Villages border-left-width:2px;border-left-style:solid;width:100%;padding:0px">

* Burnley
Wood * Haggate * Hapton * Harle Syke * Holme Chapel * Mereclough * Stoneyholme * Hurstwood * Walk Mill
Walk Mill
* Worsthorne


* Briercliffe-with-Extwistle * Cliviger
* Dunnockshaw and Clowbridge
Dunnockshaw and Clowbridge
* Habergham Eaves * Hapton * Ightenhill * Padiham
* Worsthorne-with- Hurstwood


* Forest of Pendle
Forest of Pendle
* South Pennines
South Pennines


* Burnley
Way * Brontë Way
Brontë Way


* River Brun
River Brun
* River Calder * River Don * Leeds and Liverpool Canal
Leeds and Liverpool Canal
* Pendle Water
Pendle Water

* v * t * e



* David Bellhouse * Bradshaw Gass & Hope
Bradshaw Gass & Hope
* F.W. Dixon & Son * Edward Potts * Potts, Pickup border-left-width:2px;border-left-style:solid;width:100%;padding:0px">

* Daniel Adamson
Daniel Adamson
* Ashton Frost * Ashworth & Parker * Bateman & Sherratt * Boulton & Watt * Browett, Lindley & Co * Buckley & Taylor * Carels Frères * Earnshaw & Holt * Fairbairn * W & J Galloway & Sons * Benjamin Goodfellow * Hick, Hargreaves & Co
Hick, Hargreaves & Co
* Benjamin Hick and Sons * John Musgrave & Sons * J & W McNaught * Petrie of Rochdale * William Roberts & Co of Nelson
William Roberts & Co of Nelson
* George Saxon * Scott & Hodgson * Urmson & Thompson * Yates of Blackburn * Yates & Thom * Willans & Robinson
Willans & Robinson
* J & E Wood
J & E Wood
* Woolstenhulmes border-left-width:2px;border-left-style:solid;width:100%;padding:0px">

* Brooks & Doxey * Butterworth & Dickinson
Butterworth & Dickinson
* Curtis, Parr & Walton * Dobson & Barlow
Dobson & Barlow
* John Hetherington & Sons * Joseph Hibbert * John Pilling and Sons * Harling & Todd * Howard & Bullough * Geo. Hattersley * Asa Lees * Mather & Platt * Parr, Curtis & Madely * British Northrop Loom
Northrop Loom
Co * Pemberton & Co * Platt Brothers * Taylor, Lang & Co * Textile Machinery Makers * Tweedales & Smalley * T. Wildman border-left-width:2px;border-left-style:solid;width:100%;padding:0px">

* Elkanah Armitage * Henry Ashworth * Hugh Birley * Hugh Hornby Birley * Joseph Brotherton * James Burton * Peter Drinkwater * Nathaniel Eckersley * John Fielden * William Gray * Richard Howarth * William Houldsworth
William Houldsworth
* John Kennedy * Charles Macintosh
Charles Macintosh
* Hugh Mason
Hugh Mason
* Samuel Oldknow * Robert Peel * John Rylands


* Oldham Limiteds * Fine Spinners and Doublers * Lancashire
Cotton Corporation * Combined Egyptian Mills Ltd * Courtaulds
* Bagley border-left-width:2px;border-left-style:solid;width:100%;padding:0px">

* Textile manufacturing
Textile manufacturing
* Cotton-spinning machinery
Cotton-spinning machinery
* Dref Friction Spinning
Dref Friction Spinning
* Dandy loom * Magnetic ring spinning * Open end spinning * Ring spinning
Ring spinning
* Spinning frame
Spinning frame
* Spinning jenny
Spinning jenny
* Spinning mule
Spinning mule
* Steaming * Water frame
Water frame
* Roberts Loom
Roberts Loom
* Lancashire
Loom * Lancashire


* Amalgamated Association of Beamers, Twisters and Drawers (Hand and Machine) * Amalgamated Association of Operative Cotton Spinners * Amalgamated Textile Warehousemen\'s Association * Amalgamated Textile Workers\' Union * Amalgamated Weavers\' Association * Burnley, Nelson, Rossendale and District Textile Workers\' Union * General Union of Loom Overlookers * North East Lancashire
Amalgamated Weavers\' Association * Northern Counties Textile Trades Federation * Northern Textile and Allied Workers\' Union * National Union of Textile and Allied Workers * The Textile Institute * United Textile Factory Workers\' Association


* More looms
More looms
* Kissing the shuttle * Mule spinners\' cancer * Piece-rate list
Piece-rate list


* LCC mills * Bolton * Bury * Cheshire * Derbyshire * Lancashire
* Manchester * Oldham (borough) * Preston * Rochdale * Salford * Stockport * Tameside * Wigan * Yorkshire


* Bancroft Shed * Helmshore Mills * Queen Street Mill
Queen Street Mill
* Weavers\' Triangle * Quarry Bank Mill, Styal


* Richard Arkwright
Richard Arkwright
* Samuel Crompton
Samuel Crompton
* James Hargreaves
James Hargreaves
* Thomas Highs
Thomas Highs
* John Kay (flying shuttle)
John Kay (flying shuttle)
* John Kay (spinning frame) * Ro