Historic ‘pile of stones’ moved as a flood-prevention measure

THE Environment Agency expects to save £2 million by carefully dismantling a 200-year-old industrial artefact and carefully rebuilding it nearby.

The stone weir was used to syphon off some of Walsden Water to power one of Todmorden’s biggest and historically important mills.

But these days it adds to the threat of flooding and needs to be removed as part of a huge flood-alleviation scheme – if not, £2 million would have to be spent on additional work.

Todmorden Civic Society and Calderdale Council have persuaded the Environment Agency to save the structure, which stands beside Rochdale Road and rebuild it nearby.

Society chairman Paul Clark said: “An information board will explain how Walsden Water was used as a source of energy for cotton mills along the valley. We are delighted that a piece of industrial heritage is being saved for future generations.”

Project engineer Will Benedikz said the machinery associated with the weir was also interesting and would be preserved, along with the stones.

Walsden Water was used to drive the waterwheel in Joshua Fielden’s former Waterside Mill, built in 1786.

Also known as Laneside Mill, it was demolished in the 1980s and the site now houses a supermarket.