The exhibition celebrates the 200th anniversary of the family textile firm John Holdsworth & Co., of Shaw Lodge Mills in Halifax. The Holdsworth story is one of six generations, during which time the firm has seen success, stagnation, near collapse and renaissance, as its fortunes have followed the rise and decline of the British textile industry.
John Holdsworth and Company was established in 1822 by John Holdsworth, aged 25, when he set up his own worsted spinning mill at Bottoms or Waterside in Siddal. He had been brought up in the family textile trading business, his grandfather John Holdsworth being one of the original tenants when Halifax Piece Hall opened for business in 1779, and John himself was in business with his father George at Shibden Mill, before setting up on his own. He made his home at Shaw Lodge in Skircoat, which sustained around £225 damage in the aftermath of the 1835 window breaking election. John quickly recognised the need to expand and in 1825 he began purchasing and developing land in the Shaw Hill area of Skircoat.
His final purchase was in 1844. This was to become the Shaw Lodge Mills complex.
The business prospered to such an extent that John was joined in partnership by his four sons. He had retired two years before his death in 1857, leaving his sons in charge, and it was during their management of the firm in the 1850’s that most of the buildings, which still exist, were erected. The main weaving shed, which is 240 yards long, bears the date 1852. His eldest son, William, regarded as the business brain of the family, served as Lord Mayor of Halifax in the 1860s.
Calderdale Industrial Museum is Open Saturdays 10am – 4pm and also Thursdays in the School Holidays
Adults £5, Concessions £4, accompanied children Free
- Access is to the side of the Museum via our newly-installed ramp and stairs.
- Internally there are stairs and a lift to all floors.
- Disabled Parking is available by prior request.