Industrial Development

Woodlands Mill

Located on Barrows Lane it was established in 1812 by Thomas Pearson & Sons as water-powered worsted-spinning mill.  Using the waters of Steeton Beck. Early timber-floored mill (six storeys, eleven bays) survives, today as apartment dwellings. The mill used of two waterwheels. In 1847 John Clough purchased the mill.

It expanded after 1850, with addition of a new steam powered mill (five storeys and attic, nine bays), combing and weaving sheds and warehouses.  After 1860 the mill functioned as fully integrated worsted factory.

The Bobbin Mill

Located just downstream of Woodlands mill, the Bobbin mill was international renowned for the quality of its bobbins. It was demolished in the 1980s, to make way for residential housing. Woodlands Mill became dilapidated, but was converted to residential housing in 2005.

The area of grass next to Mill Lane in the middle of the village was the site of the Old Corn Mill and, even after the demolition of the mill itself, of a large mill pond. The mill pond, which was filled in and grassed over around 1970, was the location of several shops, including a very popular fish & chip shop, whose fronts faced onto High Street but whose backs were suspended over the pond by stilts. The Old Corn Mill bell is the only present day reminder of the old Corn Mill; an edifice that once dominated the village. In 1934 the great mill stones from the old Corn Mill were made into a large sundial in Steeton High Hall by Alex Keighley.

Eastburn Mill

The importance of both the textile mill and the foundry (now Landis Lund’s) for the growth and development of Eastburn cannot be over-emphasised. It was the employment that they and the other nearby factories provided that brought workers to the village, creating a demand for housing and other services and thus diversifying the local economy. The 1891 census return suggests that with the exception of housewives and children under 11, almost every able-bodied person in the village was gainfully employed.

In 1822 Eastburn was a small farming community. Four major farms are shown on the tithe map (Lyon, Eastburn House, Greenfield and Knott) together with a scattering of cottages along the Lyon and along the trunk road, mainly near the top of Green Lane. The only other buildings of note in 1822 were the inn (now the White bear) and its large barn on the south side of the trunk road, and the tithe barn behind Eastburn House.

The Barrett family are known to have originated in Sutton where they owned a corn mill. Peter Barrett is listed on the 1841 Eastburn census as a millwright. He lived at Greenfield House and owned a good deal of land. He and Stephen Barrett began a foundry-type business in Eastburn prior to there being an actual foundry building. The Barrett family were also builders and installers of water wheels.

They also made cast iron manhole covers and coal shoot lids and to this day there are many gas lamp posts still in the area with the name of John Barrett, Eastburn Foundry, Cross Hills on them.

The factory complex in 1846 housed both the Barretts’ foundry business and a separate textile business. The earliest record of the mill found so far is on the electoral roll for Eastburn of 1845 where a Solomon Arnold is listed as occupying a mill in Eastburn at a rent of £50 per annum. On a property list dated 1865 a Samuel Tetley (from Shoebridge) is leasing a certain building from Peter Barrett including a weaving shed, engine etc., and then in 1871 John Barrett is listed on the census as a millwright living at Eastburn bridge.

John Lund bought the foundry in 1904. He was a machine toolmaker by trade who started producing lathes, planers, milling machines, etc. During the First World War he manufactured machines for making shells. He started making surface grinders in about 1923 and introduced hydraulics on to his machines in 1928. The firm was taken over by Clapham Bros. in 1932 and concentrated on the manufacture of surface grinders under the name Precimax.

During the Second World War many local women were employed to operate the machines in the factory while the men were away fighting. In 1950 the business was taken over again, this time by Landis Lund Company, Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, USA. Major extensions to the buildings were made between 1935 and 1937. Thos. Atkinson & Sons, (Builders) of Eastburn did some of this work. The dressed stone front of the present building is reclaimed stone from Sutton Hall (demolished 1940). Wimpeys carried out further major rebuilding work between 1959 and 1960.

Eastburn Quarry

The Quarry was originally owned by the Barrett family, who were local landowners. It was sold to Thos. Atkinson and Son who were local builders, and then in 1914 was bought by Richard Dixon who had returned from a gold mining expedition in Africa to live at Harewood House in Eastburn. Harewood House was watered from the square stone tank (now split) in Eastburn Quarry.