Hodgsons Mill, Blyth
4 Jun 2020
This is a
Crawford Road, Blyth
Current status is
Designer (if known):
Site is used by the Port of Blyth
"Richard Hodgson who was involved in the management of the pits at Plessey took out a lease with others for the development of the Cowpen Colliery in 1797, sometime shortly afterwards he bought land from the Croft Estate and built “Hodgson’s Mill” and house for him and his family. He evidently also owned the Buckshill Mill, though that is not confirmed.
Hodgsons Mill was further developed by his son Joseph Hodgson who inherited the site in 1830.
Joseph tried to rent the mills out in 1838 but was not successful.
In the 1850's he advertised a butchers shop and blacksmiths shop as being available for rent in the mills
Joseph’s 3rd son also a Joseph Hodgson founded the Shipyard in about 1860 with Rodger Soulsby. Their firm Hodgson & Soulsby occupied the Crofton Mills site until they moved in 1863 to what had been the Bowmen and Drummond yard further down the river at Cowpen Quay.
Joseph senior's eldest son another Richard Hodgson inherited the mills in 1858, though he ran it before then as he advertised for a miller to work at the mill in 1855.
Richard Hodgson continued to run the mill and act as a flour dealer until 1868 when he tried to sell the mill and all it's contents along with his farm at Cowpen North.
The mill lay abandoned for many years and was finally taken down in 1890.
The land and the quay were eventually sold by JC Hodgson, Richard's only son to the Blyth Harbour Commissioners in 1898 for £10,500."
Retrieved from Gmac101 on Rootschat.com
Listing Description (if available)
Both editions above illustrate Croftons Mill labelled as Hodgsons Mill.
In the mid 19th century the site was entirely seperate from the small town of Blyth, being more linked to the village of Cowpen being next to the square to the north. The site utilised a short branch line from Cowpen Colliery in 1898, which must have been rebuilt as in the first edition it seems to have been ripped up. They may have been for Low Houses Colliery, which is labelled on Fryers Map seen below.
The second edition shows the development of Blyth as an industrial town, swallowing up the rural land that lied between it for terraced housing. The High Ferry is also in use by this point adjacent to the mill as well as the expansion of the docklands.
By the 1920s, the site had been redeveloped as housing and traces of it had disappeared. Hodgsons Lane is the biggest legacy of the site.
Photograph of Hodgson's Mill in the 19th century. This quite amazing photograph shows the Windmill and related buildings, as well as various children playing and walking, perhaps living at nearby Cowpen Square.
Photograph of the site of Cowpen Square and housing which was developed on Hodgsons Mill, undated. Cowpen Colliery can be seen in the background as well as a quarry on Crawford Street.
Retrieved from Rootschat.com
Illustration of Hodgsons Mill in the 19th century. The illustration is looking north, with Cowpen Square behind.
Retrieved from Rootschat.com