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A Brief History of Trawden

Although not mentioned in the Doomsday book, Trawden was a hunting forest and therefore would not need to be listed as it was already partof the King's land. It has probably been inhabited since prehistoric times by small groups of people.

The first documented mention of Trawden is of coal being mined at Cathole Clough in 1296.

It is made up of three districts, Trawden, Winewall and Wycoller.

Up to 1506 it was a hunting Forest, with vaccaries for rearing oxen. There were five of these, two in Trawden, two in Wycoller and one in Winewall.

After this date clearings were made for cultivation of farm land and the village as we know it began to take shape.

Part of an old map of Trawden

The oldest part of Trawden is Colne Road and the area known as Chelsea, now demolished.

The main road to Colne ran up Colne Road and over the Mirage. The "New Road" from the bottom of Rock Lane to Colne was built in 1870.

At first Trawden was made up of many small hamlets. These included Stunstead, Wanless, Oaken Bank and Carry Heys, now part of Colne. As the industrial Revolution took place more houses were needed for the workers in the cotton mills and the gaps between the hamlets were gradually filled in.

The main industries were handloom weaving and farming.

At one time there were over one hundred farms in Trawden now there is only a handful.

Most of the cotton Mills have also gone. The last remaining in use was Hollin Hall Mill, used as a sewing centre by Empress Mills Ltd., Who have now removed to Colne.


Old Trawden Hall

Trawden Hall was built in approx. 1540. For nearly four hundred years it was the home of the Foulds family. There have been three houses on the site. The latest was built in 1900 by John Hopkinson who was a mill owner.

A postcard of Wycoller Hall posted 2nd November 1910

Wycoller Hall was built between 1550 -1560. The last inhabitant was Henry Owen Cunl;iffe who died in 1818. It is said to have been the inspiration for Charlotte Bronte's Ferndean Manor in her book "Jane Eyre".

Wycoller was a hamlet of handloom weavers. With the coming of the cotton mills the population declined.

In the early 1950's the Friends of Wycoller formed to tidy up the hall which was in a very poor state. By the 1960's only one cottage was occupied in the village.

In the 1970's Lancashire County Council took over and Wycoller Country Park was formed.

Religion in Trawden

Trawden Church was built in 1846 on land given by James Pilling Foulds of Trawden Hall. It was built from local stone taken from the quarries at Rock Lane and named Saint Mary's in honour of Mary Foulds of Trawden Hall.

The clock was erected in 1889, the Jubilee Year of Queen Victoria, at a cost of £60 plus £10 for erection. It was originally made for a church tower in Yorkshire.

The first Vicar of Trawden was Rev. Thomas Craven Humphrey, M.A. who died in Trawden in 1875.

Before the 'old' vicarage was built in 1857 the vicar lived at Carry Bridge, which was at that time part of Trawden, and walked to church from there along a flagged path which can still be seen today.

Canon Hugh Paul Dempsey

The best known and longest serving Vicar was Canon Dempsey who came to Trawden in 1908 and stayed until his death in 1949. He was noted for always wearing clogs and always carried sweets for the village children. He is buried in Saint Mary's churchyard


Wesleyan Methodist Chapel

The Wesleyan Methodist Chapel was built on land called Jumb given by William Midgley of Stunstead in 1805. It was enlarged in1850 and again in 1890. It was demolished in 1951 and the Sunday School used as a chapel until 1975 when it closed. The site of the original chapel is now occupied by Chapel House.

The Chapel across the road was used as a school, which opened in January 1873, until the new School up Dean Street was opened in 1910.

The chimney on the photograph is that of Forest Shed Mill.

The Primitive Methodist Church...................................The Sunday School

The Primitive Methodists began in Trawden by holding services in a room under the corner shop on Chapel Street, now demolished. By 1835 they had opened a chapel with burial ground attached on the site of Pave Shed Mill. In 1875 a new chapel was opened across the road at a cosr of £1181 7s 5d and later a Sunday school in 1889 costing £1149 3s 9p.

Sir William Pickles Hartley gave generously to the Primitive Methodists. In 1890 he gave £205 to the Sunday school and in1891 £250 was given to Trawden Cemetery, then belonging to the Primitive Methodists.

Chapel Fold now stands on the site of the Primitive Methodist Chapel and Sunday school.

There is still a stone laid by Sir William Pickles Hartley in the wall there.

Zion Independent Methodist Chapel was begun by a group of people meeting in a cottage at White Lea Head Farm. Money was raised and a Chapel built in 1882. Two hundred and fifty people sat down to tea to celebrate the opening of the chapel. The cost of the building was £530.

On special occasions the chapel would be full, with standing room only, for three services, morning, afternoon and evening.

Unfortunately membership began to decline and in 2002 the decision was taken to close the chapel. It now stands empty awaiting development.

The Old Chapel and Lodge, Trawden Cemetery

Before any of these there was a Quaker chapel and burial ground on the Mirage, (Colne Road), which was the old road to Colne. The stone reading "Society of Friends Trawden Burial Ground 1688" can still be seen.

The Society of Friends were the first non-conformists in Trawden. Meetings were held mostly in private houses. Frighams Cottage on Dark Lane (Boulsworth Road) is also known as Frighams Chapel and is said to have been a Quaker Burial Ground. An old Trawdener used to tell about bones being found when the garden was dug over.

Other Trawden Facts

Trawden War Memorial was opened on 27th May 1922. The procession then went to the Recreation Ground which was opened on the same day. The ground for this, in the centre of the three districts, was given by Stephen Hartley of Winewall, in memory of the men who gave their lives during the First World War.

Trawden School was built in 1910. Previous to this there had been a school at Winewall, Trawden Wesleyan School on Church Street and Trawden Church School, now the Parish Hall.

Trawden had three public houses and numerous clubs, including the Grand Club and the Cock Hill Club.

The Rock Hotel (Trawden Arms) was built in 1895 on the site of a corn mill which had stood there since the 16th century. The license was transferred from the Black Rock which stood at the bottom of Rock Lane.

The Sun Inn was fromerly known as the Steps Head. In 1834 the licensee was John Birtwistle. In 1848 when Thomas Binns was tennant it was known as the Sun Inn.

The Herders Arms was also in Trawden. More properly named the Oldham Arms it was reknowned for selling 'Stew and Hard', (potted meat and oatcakes usually served with onions). It closed in 2003.

The first tram came to Trawden on June 24th 1904. An extract from the school register reads "Fri: Holiday this aft. All the children are to have a free ride on the Electric car to celebrate the opening which took place on Wedy. last. Buns and coffee will be given on their return" . The line was extended up the 'Tram Lines' (White Lea Avenue) in 1905. This route was taken as Church Street was to steep.

Mills in Trawden

The coming of cotton played a very important part in the development of Trawden.

Possibly the first mills in Trawden were Lodge Holme Mill and Folly Mill.

They were built as cotton spinning mills and were water powered, both having a weir and a dam to supply the water. An abundance of running water was one of the major factors in the siting of the cotton mills.

Folly Mill was below Gladstone Terrace. Henry Owen Cunliffe of Wycoller Hall, was one of the owners of the mill which was bought when oit was in a state of disrepair and probably pulled down. Later a larger cotton mill was built nearby by a firm known as Critchley Armstrong. Later still it was occupied by Eccles. During World War Two the frim of Fenners moved from Hull and made munitions in the factory. Many if the workers were girls who lived in a hostel at the Grange, Keighley Road, Colne. Prior to its demolition in 1974 the mill was occupied by Pioneer Oilseal Ltd. The site is now occupied by a small modern factory.

Burrows and Green, Lodge Holme (1950's)

By 1892 Lodge Holme Mill had become a dyeworks and in 1923 it was occupied by Multi Colour (Dyers) Ltd., Cop Dyers. Between 1892 and 1910 the Dye works switched to steam power.

In 1931 Lodge Holme Mill was taken over by the engineering firm of Burrows and Green and during World War Two tracer bullets were made there. A special machine to make the bullets had to be constructed at the factory first. Seventy women were employed on munitions work. Later the firm became known as Bursgreen and was eventually taken over by Wadkin. The firm closed down in 1993 when work was transferred to the Leicester branch.

In 1994 the building was taken over by Penyard Ltd. of Barrowford and VFM/Pendle Woodworking Machinery.

Black Carr Mill was built as a steam-powered cotton weaving mill let on a room and power basis. It was opened in 1882. In 1885 an extension was built. At first it was occupied by many small weaving firms. By 1963 it was occupied solely by Hopkinson's (Trawden) Ltd., and in the late 1960's was bought by Bannisters as an extension of their other Trawden premises. The mill ceased production of textiles in the late 1990's and was taken over by Victoria Forge (Nelson) Ltd.

Coal for the mill engines was stored across the road where Cleggs now have their storage yard.


Forest Shed Mill

Forest Shed Mill (now Forest Bank) was built about 1890 as a steam powered mill let on a room and power basis. Power came from an engine and boiler houoses attached to the side of the shed. In 1938 the warehouse was burnt down. children from the school had a bird's eye view of the fire.

Scar Top Mill was built by John Bannister in the middle of the 19th century and was rented by James Preston until he moved to Walk Mill at Colne. It was later enlarged.

The gateposts from Wycoller Hall were palced at the entrance to the mill on Church Street.

The porch from the hall was also bought at this time and built on to Bannister's house.

Around 1890 it was a chemical factory making gun cotton from cottom waste. In 1922 it was partly a mill and partly a laundry. This closed in the 1970's and the mill was taken over by the firm of Trurig Ltd., precision engineers, producing among other things, aircraft components.

Brook Shed was built in 1860 by William Pilling. Like most of the other mills it was let out on a room and power basis. At first there were three separate firms using the mill. By 1902 there were two firms in occupation and by 1911 just one firm.In 1963 the mill was occupied by Derbyshire and Knowles Ltd., 'Dry Tapers and Chain Beamers for ticks, crepes, poplins, gaberdines etc.




Pave Shed Mill April 1992


Pave Shed Mill (Salts), now Weavers Court was built between 1844 and 1879 by William Marsden who lived at Trawden Hall. The older part of the mill was a dandy house, used for handloom weaving. The Primitive Methodists had a chapel on the site until the one was built across the road, below Orchard Terrace.

At one time it was occupied by John Wilkinson & Son, cotton goods manufacturers. During the 1960's Hull Traders were there, with the family living in a flat in the mill.

Later it was occupied by Bronte Carpets until they moved to Colne.


Lane House Mill was sited where Hollin Hall engineering works now is.

Hollin Hall Mill (Floats) was built around 1855. In 1854 the Hollin Hall Shed Building Company was floated as a Limited Company (hence the nickname, which is also said to derive from the number of floats (faults) in the cloth). Shares were £1 each with interest of 5%. It was occupied by John Sagar cotton manufacturer. By 1911 the occupiers were Hollin Hall Manufacturing Company.

In the 1920's there was a fire at the mill when the tape room and its contents were destroyed. A few looms at one end of the building were damaged and a few beams in the stock room but very little cloth was damaged. The total damage amounted to £6000.

By 1931 the tenant was James Moorhouse and Sons Ltd. Around 1945 H. W. Bannister became the mills owners and the mill was extended.

In 1968 H. W. Bannister was taken over by William Baird Textiles, later becoming Bairdtex.

In November 1995 The William Baird Group announced its intention of closing the Bairdtex colour woven fabric business regretting that market forces were such that the business was no longer viable. The factory closed in January 1996.

A new lease of life was granted to Hollin Hall mill when Empress Mills (1927) Ltd. of Colne took over the premises in May 1996. Unfortunately circumstances forced a move back to Colne in April 2004 and the mill was sold. It is now awaiting development into housing.



Winewall in 1963. The Inghamite Chapel is in the top right of the picture.


Winewall began as a small hamlet at the top of the hill with several outlying farms. In area it extended as far as the road to Wycoller on the bottom of Boulsworth Hill.

The coming of the cotton mills saw the extension of the village to what we know now.

The first Inghamite Chapel was built in 1752. In 1860 a new Chapel was built and the old Chapel used as a Sunday School. This Chapel was demolished in 1979 and the Sunday school once again became the Chapel. In 1998 declining congregations forced the Chapel to close. It was later developed into houses. There is an extensive graveyard at the back of the former Chapel.

There was a small mill at Well Head. At first it was a cotton mill and in later years became a plastic making factory. It closed in 2003.

New Laithe Farm

In the mid 1940's Alvin Barrett and Fred Spencer bought New Laithe Farm and set up a poultry farm. They sold eggs and hatched Chicks for sale. They started business in a small pen up Dark Lane , ( Boulsworth Road ), Trawden. This business is still in existence, run by Alvin 's grandsons.






Until the coming of the industrial revolution Cottontree was a small hamlet at the bend of the road leading from Winewall to Colne. As the mills were built houses were needed for the workers and the Cottontree we see today evolved.

A cotton mill was built on Ball grove and one at Bough Gap. The pond on the Ferndean Way , was Bough Gap mill lodge.

Later the mill at Ball Grove became Sagars Tannery which was one of the largest in the country.

There was a road leading from Ball Grove up past the Brewery on Keighley Road , up Bents and so on to Skipton.

People from Cottontree used to get yeast from the Brewery for making bread.

The Wesleyan Church was built in 1893. Previous to this services were held in the Winewall Co-operative Society buildings. The Church was extended in 1900 and is still a thriving Church.




The Inghamite Church at the bottom of Cottontree Lane was built in 1900
because of a split with the Church at Winewall. Declining congregations led to it being demolished in 1993 and new houses were built on the site.


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