Using the “pedigree” written by Nicholas Cockshutt (born c. 1863) and the records available some progress can be made in finding out more about where Edmund Cockshutt of Ball Grove (c. 14 Jan 1753), his son, Edmund Cockshutt, the Younger (b. c. 1779), his grandson Edmund Cockshutt (b. Dec 1809), his great-grandson Joshua Cockshutt (b. c.1840) and their families. First, it would be interesting to know where they lived and worked.
A Map of Colne and surrounding areas (with notations showing the locations referred to below) can be viewed here. Map of Colne with Notes.
In the available records, “Ball Grove” is variously referred to as “Ballgreave”, “Ballgrove” and Ball Grove. From enquiries made with the local historical society, it seems likely that in the early years this would have referred to the farm that once was located just on the northern side of Colne Water in what is today Ball Grove Park.
It seems likely that the early Cockshutts ran a woolen “fulling” mill, using fast flowing river as their source of power. The fulling process converted the raw woolen weave into cloth by beating and rinsing the greasy threads with water and soap or fine clay. This was done using wooden mallets powered by a turning wheel. The end product was a woolen material suitable for use in clothing, etc. There is evidence in the modern Ball Grove Park of a mill canal, designed to divert water from the river into a reservoir (still to be seen on site) used to store the water from which it could then released to drive the mill wheel. By the end of the 17th century, most mills around Colne were also spinning cotton. By the 1850s many had been converted to steam power.
The 1824 Colne Directory lists “Cockshutt Edward, gent, Ball grove” under the heading “Miscellany – Consisting of names of inhabitants not arranged in the Trades Lists”. Lancashire County Archives holds the probate documents dated December 1825 for “Edmund Cockshutt of Ballgreave”. Edmund Cockshutt of Ball Grove was buried at St. Bartholemew’s Parish Church, Colne on 30 September 1825.
Bough Gap Mill and Farm
The Bough Gap Mill was located about 500 yards further upstream from the Ball Grove Mill. It was located on land that was a part of Bough Gap Farm located to the present day on the southern side of Colne Water.
In April 1842, Joshua Cockshutt sold the Bough Gap cotton spinning mill and adjacent workers cottages. The following advertisement, which appeared in the Leeds Mercury newspaper on 16 April 1842, provides a good description of the Mill:
At the time of the sale in April 1842, according to the rent roll for the property, Joshua was the owner of and living in the house adjacent to the Mill. It is not clear whether, after the sale, he moved to the nearby Ball Grove Farm where he is recorded as living when he died on 15 August 1865.
Mentioned in at least one of the Cockshutt records is “In Heys”. Local authorities suggest that this is likely to refer to Inghey Farm, which is the neighbouring farm to the East of Ball Grove.
Similarly, there are several references to members of the Cockshutt family as living at “Longroyd” or “Longroad”, Colne. It is not clear whether these references refer to “Longroyd Hall” or “Longroyd Farm” located about a mile and a half north of Colne.
Worsaw Hill Farm
From the memoirs of Ignatius Cockshutt we know that James Cockshutt (who later went to Canada) from 1816-1826 managed one of his “grandfather’s farms” at “Worsaw Hill in Worston”.