Woodsome Mill, Woodsome Road, Farnley Tyas
26 September 2023 at 5:43 pm #9627Huddersfield ExposedParticipant
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Woodsome Mill, Woodsome Road, Farnley Tyas
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All replies must abide by the Forum Rules otherwise they will likely be removed.27 September 2023 at 2:42 pm #9632Jon JoyceParticipant
In the British Chronology of Flash Floods thereis the following: “At Woodsome a mill and 40 cottages were destroyed”
The source is not clear when this event occurred but it appears to possibly be at the same time as the Great Holmfirth flood of 1777. It is easy to imagine that a large storm over Holme Moss that could cause such a deluge to flow through the streets of Holmfirth, and wash away a church, could also deposit a substantial volume of water in the tributaries of Fenay Beck and fladsh flooding downstream.
In the book “A Huddersfield Miscellany” by the late Dr. George Redmonds ,on page 107, there is a plan ,redrawn by the author, of “The Bridge at Woodsome Mill c. 1786”. On it,the position of a new road and bridge are clearly marked.Interestingly, Redfern’s old house (the resident miller) is depicted beckside whereas his “new” house is depicted a short distance away presumably above the high water mark of the flash flood.
It would be interesting to discover if there is anything to confirm the date when this disastrous flash flood occured.27 September 2023 at 2:45 pm #9636
The Leeds Intelligencer dates the 1777 flood as being Wednesday 23 July, although I think I’ve seen the date reported as 21 July too:
On Wednesday last, a most terrible inundation happened at Holmfirth, near Huddersfield, occasioned, it is imagined, by what is termed by sailors a water spout, but known in that part of the country by the more usual appellation of the bursting of a cloud upon the adjoining hills : the torrent of water was so great, and the storm of thunder and lightning which preceded it, so violent, that many people began to terrify themselves with the thoughts of another universal deluge ; and it proved indeed, little short, in respect to those who were principally affected by it, for many of the houses which flood not near any rivulet were presently under water, and several, with all their furniture, clothes, utensils, workshops, and stables, together with large quantities of wool, and other goods in trace, entirely swept away ; some of those houses which resisted the violence of the flood, had their furniture washed out, and hurried away by it ; large quantities of corn and grass upon the ground, were utterly spoiled : and no less than seven mills and eight bridges, were driven down by the rapidity of the current : the water in a little rivulet in the neighbourhood, rose several yards perpendicular in less than ten minutes : three men were carried away by it, to a considerable distance and unfortunately drown’d, one of whom has left a widow and nine children! Many horses, &c. were drowned :— The scene in short, was so amazingly shocking, as to exceed description ; nor is it possible to form an adequate idea of the deplorable situation of those poor unhappy creatures, many of whom are reduced to the utmost misery and distress. It is impossible at present to ascertain the damage sustained, but it is supposed to amount at the least to ten thousand pounds.27 September 2023 at 2:52 pm #9639
…ah, it’s Wikipedia that says “Wednesday 21 July” but 21 July 1777 was a Monday. If it was the 23rd, odd that the JBA Trust list appears to cite an article published 15 July 1777.
I’ve checked the newspaper archives and the Leeds Intelligencer report is the only available local newspaper report. It was then reprinted verbatim in a number of other newspapers. However, I’ve spotted that the Ipswich Journal has a different report which also mentions the Colne Valley:
Leeds, July 29. Wednesday evening the heaviest storm of rain fell about ten miles above Huddersfield, and on the edge of Lancashire, ever remembered by any person living : it came with such impetuosity off the hills, that it rose 4 yards in 15 minutes, and full seven yards higher than usual. All the bridges, mills, houses, and barns betwixt Marsden and Lockwood, near Huddersfield, within reach of the water, were swept down, as well as abundance of hay, and a great deal of corn, land and all, washed away. At Holmfirth 5 bodies were washed out of their graves, besides much other damage, and 3 men, who had got upon a new bridge, were drowned. Several persons also lost their lives in attempting to save their hay, &c. and many more have lost their all in the sudden deluge. In short, it is scarcely possible to enumerate the mischief occasioned by this dreadful water-fall, which some imagine to have been owing to the bursting of a cloud. It began to rise about 8 o’clock, and the water was pretty well abated at midnight.27 September 2023 at 3:27 pm #9641
It’s page 402 of volume 47 (1777) of “The Gentleman’s Magazine and Historical Chronicle” which gives the date as 15 July as part of a list of events from the year, so I think the Leeds Intelligencer is more trustworthy for the actual date.27 September 2023 at 3:39 pm #9643
Regarding Dr Redmonds’ map if it’s “circa 1786”, perhaps also worth noting that there was a flood in 1787:
Part of the new bridge over the river Calder at Brighouse, was washed down; most of the bridges in Saddleworth, and Holmfirth, were swept away; and scare a single weir belonging to any of the mills in that neighbourhood was left standing.11 October 2023 at 11:13 am #9696Jon JoyceParticipant
Many thanks for all that Dave but can you confirm for me please the date of the mention of the destruction at Woodsome
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