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Cockermouth Post Article September 2015 – Little Mill, Cockermouth clogmakers, and other queries

Thanks to everyone who made our recent exhibition at the Kirkgate Centre such a success. It was very well-received with lots of positive comments, and now many queries/requests to follow up. If you have asked for copies of photos or information, we will be working our way through those in the next couple of weeks or so.

One of the requests for information we received was concerning Little Mill, situated next to Tom Rudd Beck, off Skinner Street. The picture here is of Little Mill taken in 1975. We are looking for any information or photographs of Little Mill that we might be able to copy. The original mill was probably a corn mill, dating back to the 13th century, and a fulling mill in the 15th century. It seems to have had several uses over the centuries - Bernard Bradbury tells us that in 1578 it was the ‘corn mill on the Lord’s waste’, near Long Croft (now Windmill Lane). It was leased to a tanner in 1763, and was also used by millers and flour merchants in the 19th century. It also seems to have been used as a saw mill in the 20th century. If you can supply any extra detail, then we would love to hear from you.

We also need information on Cockermouth clogmakers; there was Bigrigg’s on Main Street, and another clogger that we know of at the bottom end of Kirkgate. In Kelly’s 1929 Directory I found four: Thomas Holmes and John Huddleston on Main Street, Harry Montcrieff in Market Place, and John Henry Wood at 5 Kirkgate, which suggests that wearing clogs was still popular. Are there any photographs of these premises, or any other details that you know of, and when did this business come to an end in Cockermouth? More queries from our Visitors’ Book: when did the Conservative Club on Main Street come into existence?; information/photos required on the former Butts Fold down St Helen’s Street (roughly opposite where the Bowling Green Inn used to stand); how did Horsman Street get its name? - an easy one this: Edward Horsman was one of the two MPs for Cockermouth in the earlier half of the 19th century, when Cockermouth was still a separate constituency. Edward Waugh was the last one in 1880, and a clock tower, affectionately known as ‘Neddy’, was erected in his honour on Main Street, near the junction with Station Street. Unfortunately, it was judged to be a traffic hazard and was removed in 1932.

Gloria Edwards

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