The Hamlet of Hadfield.

This page is based on the notes of Robert Hamnett, originally published as an article in the Glossop Advertiser in 1913.
Illustrations are from my personal collection.

The Hamlet of Hadfield is bounded on the south by Castle Hill, on the east by the Padfield Brook, on the north by the River Etherow and on the west by the Glossop Brook. There are no streams worth mentioning, except those forming the boundaries which no doubt has hindered the growth of the Hamlet in past years. It has the smallest area of any, being 425 acres, 1 rood and 3.25 perches in extent.
Year Houses Inhabitants
1811 88 479
1821 115 659
1841 281 1499
1851 348 1989
1861 549 2722
1871 577 2693
1891 1024 4772
Since 1891 the Census has been taken by Wards, Parishes, and Ecclesiastical Districts, and not by Hamlets. Hadfield Ward of the Borough of Glossop includes the part of the Hamlet of Padfield which is not in No 2 Ward of the Parish of Charlesworth. Hadfield Ward in 1871 contained 4,618 inhabitants; 1891, 7,343; 1901, 6,715; 1911, 6730.

Hadfield at the time of the Domesday Survey, belonged to Eilmer, and was called Hedfelt.

Former Tenants: We have very little documentary evidence relating to this hamlet but I have a copy of the names of the tenants, the closes of land they occupied, the area and the rent paid for same in 1660:- Thomas Hadfield, Bow Carr, 15 acres, 2 roods, 9 perches, £7 3s 11d; Thos Newton, son of Thurston, 19a 2r 20p, £7 19s 5.5d; Thomas Phillips, 12a 0r 5p, £5 11s 11d; Reginald Gee, The Shawe, 20a 3r 33p, £7 5s 9.5d; Thomas Bower, The Shawe, Little Bow Carr, Great Bow Carr, Bagshaw Clough, 32a 3r 32p, £10 7s 6d; William Wharmby, cottage and garden, 2 roods, 6s 8d; Thomas Goddard, 18a 0r 6p, £8 7s 6d; Thomas Newton and Richard his sonne, 19a 2r 32p, £7 11s 11d; Thomas Haigh, the croft at Town Head, The Castle, Intake at at Marle Head, 20a 2r 22.75p, £6 2s 10d; Thomas Haigh, cottage garden and croft at Moregate, 1 rood, 3s 4d; Nicholas Hadfield, 19a 2r 30p, £8 2s 3d; Hugh Hadfield, 22a 2r 20p, £9 14s 10d; Thomas Blood, 21a 3r 30p, £9 3s 7d; Thomas Newton, son of Thomas, 31a 1r, £8 17s; John Hadfield, for an intake at Marley Head, 6a 1r, £1 0s 10d; William Goddard, 19a 2p, £7 5s 9d; Robert Dewsnappe, 27a 3r 22p, £10 1s 9.5d.

On the 12th September, 1688, Thomas Maxwell and the most Noble Jane Duchess Dowager of Norfolk, relict of the most Noble Henry, late Duke of Norfolk, deceased, and now wife of the said Thomas Maxwell, leased to John Dernaly, of Hadfield yeoman, 27 acres of land called The Nether Shaw, The Upper Shaw, The Broad Meadow Croft, The Town Field, The Bowker, The Cowhey, The Giltlisse, The Marley Head, and the Croft above the town, and the tithe of hay and premises, for £126.

Hadfield Old Hall photographed in 1994
Hadfield Old Hall photographed in 1994

The Old Hall was built in 1646 by one of the Hadfields. Butterworth, writing in 1827, says of Hadfield Hall:
“At the top of the village stands an ancient building which formerly went by the name of Hadfield Hall. It appears by the initials in front thereof IHAT 1646, that it was built two years prior to the death of Charles I, during the great Rebellion. The villagers say it was erected by the ancestors of the present George Hadfield, of Old Hall near Mottram, a relation of John Wood who resides in a very neat and respectable house in this village. In the interior of the house are some old oak furniture, forming a part of the ceiling, of the wall on which in sculpture according to the fashion of the time we perceived various grotesque figures with the year 1785 marked thereon.”
The Old Oak was taken out of the Hall some years ago and is preserved at Glossop Hall. In the vicinity are some of the oldest houses in the Hamlet clustering round Hadfield Cross, of which no remains except the name, now exist.

Castle Hill, the site of Mouselow Castle was described by the Rev John Watson, of Stockport, in 1775, as follows:-
“The next remains which I discovered in this neighbourhood is that of a large Saxon fortification called Mouselow Castle, on the top of a very large hill, in the Parish of Glossop, in the County of Derby, near the banks of that river which some call the Mersey, and others the Etherow. Its name seems to be derived from the Anglo-Saxon Mope, an heap of anything answering nearly to Mow Cop, a large round topped hill between Cheshire and Derbyshire. This etymology tends to show what I am describing as a Saxon work, and the form of it corresponds with the ideas we have of the military taste of that people. On the top of it there was strong fort surrounded by a wall, the whole encompassed by three large ditches. The ascent being small towards the south-west, the strongest works were raised on that side, on all other parts the hill is exceedingly high and steep, a circumstance in which the Saxons differed from the Romans, who seldom or ever out of choice, fixed on such elevated stations as this, even the very hill was rejected by them when they settled at what is now called Melandra Castle, within a computed mile of Mouselow, on the banks of the same stream. This military settlement of our Saxon ancestors was considerable, for the fortified ground took in some acres. The earth on the top of the hill is exceedingly irregular, and has been robbed of most of its stone to build houses, and make fence walls. There are good springs of water within the compass of it.”
Soon after Watson's visit the hill was planted with trees. We have undoubted evidence that before the Saxons or Danes built Mouselow Castle that it was a British fortress, and captured by the Romans, who took the British querns away along with other loot. Some of these are in the Glossop Museum, along with the carved stones found at Mouselow by the Rev George Marsden in 1846, whilst digging for stone to build himself a house. He built these stones in the gable end of a house, and they were removed by the Lord of the Manor, and are now in safe custody. They are very interesting and it is a pity that we have no funds available to explore this interesting ancient site.

The making of the branch highway from the Plough Inn to the Spread eagle Inn led to the development of Brookfield and Woolley Bridge.
Mr Samuel Shepley was the son of William Shepley, farmer, Woodcock Road, Glossop, and Betty, daughter of Samuel Arundale, of Heigham, of the Parish of Stockport (see The Shepley Family of Old Glossop and Bookfield) . He was born on the 13th January, 1784. He was cousin to Robert Shepley, whose father John, built the Warth Mill or Shepley Mill at Old Glossop. Another cousin, Joshua, built the Royal Oak Inn when the highway to Sheffield was opened (Note: Mr Hamnett confused Samuel with his uncle and Betty Arundale was wife of John, not his father William. Samuel, Robert and Joshua were their sons, William's grandsons).
Mr Samuel Shepley built the Brookfield Mill in 1813, and in course of time he was assisted in the business by his sons, John and William. Mr Shepley had several unique experiences during his business career. Whilst making a goyt in connexion with his mill reservoir he discovered a stone coffin in which had been buried a Roman soldier, one of the garrison at the adjoining Roman fort. In the coffin was a silver coin of the Roman Emperor Domitian A.D. 81-96. The coin was lent to a person and was never restored.
In 1831, according to the Manchester Guardian, Mr Shepley had an unfounded charge made against him:
“On Tuesday last, August 31st at the New Bailey (Manchester), an informer named Davis summoned Mr Samuel Shepley, of Brookfield to answer an information charging him with having a one-horse cart, loaded with cotton, in Market St Manchester on the 17th inst., no place of residence being visible on the name plate. In answer to a question from Mr Shepley, Davis said that it was a narrow-wheeled cart, drawn by a black horse. In defence, Mr Shepley stated that he had no cart with narrower than 6 inch wheels, and all his horses were either bay or brown; and that he had not a cart in Manchester in Manchester on the day in question. The case was accordingly dismissed.”
From the same paper, dated September 17th 1842, we are informed of Mr Shepley's experience during the Plug Drawing Turn Out:
“Glossop; On Wednesday last, the three persons who were wounded by Mr Shepley in the attack upon his mill at Dinting, near Glossop, on the 30th ult., were brought here from Manchester, in the custody of Mr Beswick, escorted by a Detachment of the 11th Hussars, for examination before the magistrates, on the charge of riot, conspiracy, and of beginning the attack on the mill and premises of Mr Shepley. Several witnesses were examined, whose evidence established the fact that the mob attacked the mill, beat at the doors, broke the windows, and that Mr Shepley and several of the Special Constables were repeatedly struck with stones, and one of them had two of his teeth knocked out before Mr Shepley fired upon the mob. The prisoners were then fully committed for trial at the next Chester Assizes for rioting and beginning to demolish the premises.”

Mr Shepley was one of the first Guardians elected 1837 and took an active part in the Board's business. He was a strong Independent in religion and built a schoolroom at Brookfield which was opened on the 14th March 1852. The first sermons in aid of the school were preached on the 9th July 1854 by the Rev R Calvert, Hyde, the collections being £16 4s 3d. Mr Samuel Shepley died December 11th 1858. His sons, John and William continued the business and followed in their father's footsteps in supporting Brookfield School and Chapel, and took an active interest in political work.
John was elected a Councillor for Hadfield Ward in 1868 and was a Liberal Councillor for six years. John died July 6th 1875, aged 65. William Shepley was elected a councillor for Hadfield ward at the first election in December 1866 and was forthwith made an alderman. He was the Mayor 1868-1870, and was one of the first seven Borough Magistrates appointed on the 12th June 1867.
Mr William Shepley was for many years a member of the Board of Guardians. Manchester Guardian, June 4th, 1853:
“Presentation to William Shepley:- Mr Shepley has been chairman for several years of the Board of Guardians, but at the last election he did not receive that number of votes which his friends thought his services deserved; they therefore, as a token of respect, and in admiration of his work in that capacity, purchased a gold watch and appendages, which they presented to Mr Shepley at a meeting held at the Station Inn on Friday, the 27th, for that purpose. Mr John Kershaw made the presentation in suitable terms, to which Mr Shepley feelingly responded.”
Mr Shepley was very proud of his watch, and was greatly grieved when he was robbed of it at a Liberal demonstration at Chatsworth on the 11th October, 1884. Mr Shepley resigned his position of vice-president of the High Peak Liberal Association on the 27th March, 1886. On the 4th September of the same year he was presented with a silver salver, 80 ozs. in weight, value £50, at New Mills Public Hall. It bore the following inscription:
“Presented to William Shepley, J.P., by the Liberal Electors of the Northern Division of the County of Derby, in recognition of his long and valued services as chairman of the Division, and to the Liberal cause generally, 28th August, 1886.”
He founded in 1861 the Brookfield Young Men's Institution. On the 11th November, 1883, he laid the foundation stone of the Brookfield Chapel, which cost £4,000 to build, partly defrayed by him and other subscribers. The organ was given by Mr Shepley. The organ was built by Mr J G Binns of Bramley, Leeds, and contains 1158 pipes.
On April 30th, 1885 his nephew, William Shepley Rhodes, J.P. opened a bazaar which realised £250 towards the funds of the school and chapel. The new Day and Sunday Schools, Brookfield were opened by Mr Shepley on Saturday, February 9th 1889. Mr Shepley died on the 7th May, 1889. He was born 2nd November, 1814. The business was turned into a Limited Company, J and W Shepley, Ltd, in 1888, the capital being £16,000 in £5 shares, Mr Shepley's son, Charles Wooffenden Shepley, J.P. being the manager.

Woolley Bridge Mill was built in 1825 by Henry Lees (see The Lees Family of Padfield and Woolley Bridge Mills). It was then assessed on 4,680 spindles. During the building of the mill there was found a beautiful Roman vase of Samian ware which was long in the possession of Mr Lees, who prized it very highly. It was knocked off the mantelpiece by a careless servant and smashed to pieces. Another one, similar is in the Warrington Museum: this also was found in the neighbourhood.
Mr Henry Lees was a strong Churchman, and the first tea party of the Woolley Bridge Church Sunday School was held in a room lent by him on the 6th February, 1855. He was very generous to his workpeople during the Cotton Famine, giving them food and allowing their houses rent free.
August 20th 1864, was a happy day for Woolley Bridge, for on that day a load of cotton came to Hadfield Station for Mr Lees. It was escorted by a large number of workpeople to the mill, and two old women were placed on top of the cotton. Mr Lees gave a tea party to celebrate the happy omen of the end of the cotton panic.
Mr Henry Lees died on the 24th July, 1870. He was born on the 7th April, 1794. His wife, Elizabeth, born 6th January, 1802, died on the 13th December, 1828. They had two sons and one daughter, who died in their infancy.

The Royal Oak Inn, Brookfield, was formerly called the Butcher's Arms.
In 1833 a toll bar was erected at Woolley Bridge.
Perhaps some of my readers will remember the terrible snow storm that took place on the 4th January, 1854, when ten trains were snowed up between Broadbottom and Hadfield, and the mills were stopped for a week for want of coal.

The bridge at Woolley Bridge is an ancient one, rebuilt in 1822 of stone from the Tintwistle Quarries. There was dispute with regard to the quantity of stone delivered, and the dispute was settled by arbitration. The contractors were Messrs Beaver and Clarke. The stone was supplied by John Jagger.

In 1790 there was a cloudburst which altered the river course where Mersey Mills now stand. At that time little notice was taken of the change of the boundary between the two counties, but it was a matter of importance to Hollingworth when the mills were built on account of the rateable value. Part of the present mills are in the Hamlet of Hadfield.

Mersey Mills
Mersey Mills

Mr Thomas Rhodes (see The Rhodes Family of Tintwistle and Mersey Bank) married Mary, the eldest daughter of William Shepley of Brookfield, and commenced business with a few looms in his father-in-law's mill. He afterwards occupied Arrowscroft Mill in Hollingworth and stayed there until 1859 when he had finished building Mersey Mill. Thomas Rhodes was a son of William Rhodes, woollen manufacturer of Tintwistle. Mr Rhodes had two other sons, Samuel, who was a commercial traveller, and also William who was in Holy Orders. He had also a daughter, Mrs Marsland Bennett. Mr Thomas Rhodes was successful in business and built Mersey Bank mansion in 1862. He was an Independent in religion, and a Liberal in politics. He was one of the first councillors for Hadfield Ward, and was one of the first Borough Magistrates. He was made a County Magistrate, 4th January, 1870. Mr Rhodes was born in 1815 and died on the 14th August, 1883. His second wife Amelia, died on the 3rd September, 1887. They had issue, Thomas, George, Herbert, Mary, (wife of John Levy of Rochester), Emily (wife of F Raynor J.P. of Ashton under Lyne), and Edith.
Mr William Shepley Rhodes was his eldest son by his first wife. Mersey Mills were first illuminated with electric light on the 1st December, 1886. William Shepley Rhodes was elected a councillor for Hadfield Ward in 1874, and represented the Ward until 1883. He was again elected in 1884, and was made an Alderman in 1893. He had then become a Unionist. He was the Mayor of Glossop 1891-93.
On the 21st March, 1890 he was presented with a walking stick and an address by the employees of Mersey Mills on the occasion of his retiring from the management. He gave a new organ, costing £600 to the Hollingworth Congregational Chapel, and the organ was opened on the 20th September, 1891. It contained 1,304 pipes. In his youth he was an ardent cricketer, and kept up his interest in the Glossop Cricket Club until he died on the 28th December, 1894.

Mr Herbert Rhodes, the fourth son of Mr Thomas Rhodes, was elected a Liberal councillor for Hadfield Ward in 1885. On March 25th 1895 he was elected an Alderman. He had become a Unionist in politics. Before then he had unsuccessfully contested the High Peak Division of the County of Derby as the Radical candidate. He retired as the candidate on the 10th January, 1888. On the 22nd June, 1887, he married Anne Beatrice Walley, eldest daughter of Mr Samuel S Walley, calico merchant, Fallowfield, Manchester. There was much rejoicing over the event. He was made a County Magistrate in January, 1899. He was a County Councillor for Hadfield Ward, a position he resigned on the 9th July, 1890. He was the Mayor of Glossop 1895, until his death 18th February, 1897, at the early age of 33. He left issue, William Herbert Rhodes, of the 'Woodlands, Stalybridge, and Thomas Stanley Rhodes, who died from the effects of a motor accident on August 16th, 1911. He had only recently married Miss Mabel Russell. He was only 22 years of age. Mr Herbert Rhodes, with Sir Edward Partington, built the Victoria Hall and Library as a Jubilee gift to the Borough of Glossop. His brother, Thomas Rhodes, died in California in 1893. He had been absent abroad for over 17 years. The firm became Thomas Rhodes and Son, Ltd. The share list closed November 5th 1895. Share capital, 8,500 shares of £10 each, fully paid, £85,000. Debentures: 400 4.5% first mortgage debentures of £100, £40,000. The land, machinery, plant, stock in trade, book debts, etc., were valued at £125,000.
Mr William Herbert Rhodes is the president of the Padfield Conservative Club, and has lately presented a handsome and valuable billiard table to the club.

There were two cotton mills known as Thornley's mills. One, The Higher Mill, or Padfield Lodge Mill, now White Mill, was worked by Thomas Thornley, who was married on the 27th August, 1810, to Miss Taylor of Barnsley, and on the same day, Miss Lucy Thornley married Thomas Taylor, of Manchester. In 1831 the mill was in the possession of assignees.
In 1834 it was in the possession of William, Thomas and Edward Platt, sons of George Platt (see The Platt Family of Glossop). They were all born at Shaw, where the Platts had resided for generations. The Lower Mill, or Bankbottom Mill was owned and occupied by John Thornley, who had also an interest in the Vale House Mill. The three brothers Platt also occupied this mill, which was pulled down in June, 1899. George Platt died May 25th, 1857; William Platt died March 17th 1875, aged 76. His wife Margaret, who was a daughter of John Goddard J.P. of Greenfield House (Goddard Lane), had predeceased him. In 1838 Mr Platt was living at Hadfield Lodge, and was appointed to assist in distributing 'Hague's Charity.' Thomas Platt died February 14th 1878, aged 77. His widow, Margaret, died July 8th 1882, aged 71. Edward Platt died January 14th, 1887, aged 83.
Both Thomas and Edward were elected councillors for Hadfield ward at the first Municipal Election. On August 11th 1869, Edward was elected an Alderman. He was also a member of the Board of Guardians. His son, Edward Platt, J.P. of Mersey Bank was elected a councillor for Hadfield Ward on November 1st 1881.

The opening of Hadfield Library
The opening of Hadfield Library

He is the donor of the Hadfield Public Hall and Reading Room; the land being given by S Hill-Wood, M.P. The Platts have always been Independents and Liberals in politics. They have always taken an active part in local government, and generously subscribed to charitable objects.
Messrs Platts built a new mill near to the Hadfield Railway Station. Owing to the death of Councillor George Eastham, February 12th 1875, a bye election was caused, which resulted in the return of William Platt, junior. The voting was: William Platt, 331; Joseph F Swales, surgeon, 212.

George Eastham was a retired grocer, who had been in business for over 32 years at Waterside. He was the son of Thomas Eastham, surgeon, who died in 1844.
On the 13th February, 1858, Mr George Eastham was presented with a silver inkstand, inscribed as follows:-
“Presented to Mr George Eastham by the brethren of the Hadfield Protestant Society, as a token in remembrance of his past valuable services.”
Mr Eastham, in reply, said he entered the Society in 1844 at his father's death. He became the treasurer in January 1855 and had revised the rules. He was a noteworthy Orangeman and attended the demonstrations.

The leading inhabitants of Hadfield were bitterly opposed to the incorporation of the Borough of Glossop, and did their utmost to prevent it. A very bitter political feeling was raised which has only of recent years somewhat subsided, most of the leading men who opposed being dead. It was not until 20 years after the incorporation that the streets were properly named. On July 28th 1886, Councillor W. Sargentson suggested to the Town Council names for twenty streets that were not named in Hadfield. The list was approved by the Council.

A strange funeral that was long remembered, and caused a sensation at the time, was the funeral of Jam o' Jonathan's. He was called James Wood, and was the son of Jonathan Wood (see Jam o' Jonathan's.). James Wood died July 15th, 1850 aged 78. He was a property owner and an infidel. He ordered that the mourners attending his funeral were to have as much drink as they wanted. The funeral procession was to stop at Mrs Ellen Hadfield's, the Willow Grove Inn, where the coffin lid was to be taken off and the corpse must have as much ale as the body would hold, which was done. A tun dish was obtained, placed in his mouth and ale poured down. The mourners on arrival at the Church were so intoxicated, that the parson, the Rev A T G Manson, refused to inter the corpse owing to the mourners want of reverence. The corpse was left and buried next day, but no mourners attended.

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Last updated: 4 October 2020