Hope Hill Mill
I came across your website purely by accident when googling for Hope Hill Mill. I am interested in this cotton mill because in about 1809 my great x3 grandfather William Drabble brought his family from rural Derbyshire to live in Hope Hill and presumably to work in the mill. Because of this I have done a little research into the mill, and who owned it.

The mill was built probably in the latter part of the eighteenth century and was originally powered by a water wheel. On old maps you can see the reservoirs nearby on higher ground. At that time the owner was a Jeremiah Bury and he employed around 300 workers. He was responsible for bringing young orphaned children from London parishes to work in the mill. They stayed in the Prentice House nearby. He was also responsible for converting the mill to steam power; he bought and had installed Boulton and Watt engines in 1791 and 1801.

In 1803 Bury was in partnership with Alexander Rooth, John Middleton and Joseph Mayer. In 1811 Bury left the partnership and the remaining three partners ran the mill until 1831 when the partnership was dissolved. Two streets near the mill (Bury Street and Rooth Street) are named after the owners. These streets had rows of terraced 2-up 2-down houses for the mill workers and allotments facing on which they could grow their own produce (see 1851 OS map). Mr Bury lived farther up the hill in a house called Bower House.

Bury, Rooth, Middleton and Mayer were all staunch Methodists and were founding fathers of the huge Stockport Sunday School built in 1805 (Bury laid the foundation stone). Bury died in 1839, Rooth died in 1837, Middleton died in 1855, and Mayer died in 1857,

In the early 1850s the mill was run by John Taylor (he appears on the 1848 tithe map of Heaton Norris), John Cope Burgess and James Burton and then later, as you have discovered, by Isaiah Molesdale and John Crompton, followed by Joseph Yetlow. Ownership was transferred to Henry Pearson and Edwin Cheetham through to the 1860s. The 1861 census for Heaton Norris has both Henry Pearson (master cotton spinner and manufacturer employing 416? persons of both sexes) and Edwin Cheetham (cotton manufacturer employing 80 workpeople).

The Mill would have been demolished in the early to mid 1860s to make way for the Cheshire Lines railway running through Stockport to Liverpool which opened in 1865. The site of the mill became part of the Club House Sidings for the railway. This railway was closed in 1967 to be replaced by a section of the M60 Motorway.

I can't imagine that Hope Hill Mill did very good business towards the middle years of the century, hence its frequent change of ownership. Also it would be in competition with newer and much larger mills such as the nearby Orrells Mill opened in 1838, one of the largest establishments of its time.

Terry Drabble
March 2009

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