New Mills

If you find any errors on this site or would like to contribute material please email me - (but remove the 8 from the address)  

Other websites giving information about New Mills & offering books for sale about the area are:

The Heritage Centre and the Local History Society

The following items are available on the New Mills Local History Society website:

The 1841 Tithe Map -

St. George`s Road Methodist Graveyard -




My thanks to Dr Derek Brumhead for the following History of New Mills

Little is known about north-west Derbyshire before the Domesday Book of 1086, when the New Mills district was on the southern edge of the king's estate known as Longdendale. The Domesday Book records that a thane called Ligulf had formerly held land in "Tornesete" (Thornsett), the earliest record of a local place name. By the thirteenth century, the area now known as New Mills was being administered as part of the royal forest of the Peak, which occupied much of north-west Derbyshire. In 1372, the manor and forest of the Peak passed into the ownership of John of Gaunt to become, from 1399, part of the huge crown estate known as the Duchy of Lancaster. As a result, there is a rich source of documents in the public and county record offices. We now know that the town of New Mills takes its name from a Duchy corn mill called 'Berde' mill, dating from before 1391, which was located near the site of the present Salem Mill (at the bottom of High Street). Soon after 1391, if not before, the mill became known as New Mill ('Newmylne').

By the late sixteenth century the name New Mill was in use as a place name for the little settlement which had grown up around the corn mill. Together with a number of other places, such as Hayfield and Chinley, the settlement was part of a large administrative area known as Bowden Middlecale which consisted of the ten hamlets. In 1713 these were formed into three groups for tax purposes: Bugsworth, Brownside, Chinley: Great Hamlet, Phoside, Kinder; and Beard, Ollersett, Thornsett and Whitle. The last group of four (with the addition of Newtown) later came to form the district known as New Mills. Ecclesiastically, all the above hamlets, together with Mellor, were in the ancient parish of Glossop. But because of the extensive and hilly nature of the parish, chapelries were established at Hayfield and Mellor with their own churches and registers (dating from 1620). New Mills was split between these two chapelries until the new parish of New Mills was formed in 1844 (St Georges church, a 'commissioners' church, had already been opened in 1831) comprising the four hamlets of Beard, Ollersett, Thornsett and Whitle.

Before industrialisation and the coming of the textile mills, the area consisted of scattered hill farms, cottages and hamlets, all with names which we would recognise today. In the late eighteenth century, with the onset of the industrial revolution and the introduction of water power for cotton, there came a rapid and fundamental change. New mills were built in the Torrs, the natural gorge running through the town, on the banks of the rivers Sett and Goyt. From the original nucleus of houses built around the 'New Mill', a new town quickly grew up, spreading up what is now High Street and over the fields of the Torr Top estate. A population of 1,878 in 1801 had almost doubled by 1831.