Coley Mill Inn
Coley Mill Inn
There were four inns in Norwood Green until the 1920s: The Olde White Beare, Pear Tree, Coley Mill Inn (pictured) and the Lane End, which is now a private house at the entrance to Sowden Lane.  At the time of the photograph, just after the First World War, the landlord of the Coley Mill was a man called Leach, and the inn was licensed to sell ale, porter and tobacco; no spirits.  It served the needs of employees at the mill but was also used by locals and by adventurous gentlemen from adjoining villages who walked across the fields from Lightcliffe.

The inn was perhaps more commonly known as T’ Wheel ‘Oil, a reference to the water wheel of the adjacent Coley Corn Mill, and the area is still known by this title, long after the iron wheel has gone and the mill reduced almost to its foundations.  The building which housed the inn remains, providing shelter for cattle instead of weary millworkers.

There was a corn mill on this site from medieval times.  A court case of 1562 adjudicated on the obligation of the tenant farmers of the Hipperholme area to send their corn to the Rastrick mill. The jury decided they were entitled to use any of the local mills: Coley, Ox Heys (less than a mile up the beck from Coley Mill) or Shibden.

If it seems odd that the mill should be known as Coley, rather than Norwood Green, Mill, it must be remembered that the eastern boundary of Coley Parish was the beck.  This is known as Wood Fall Beck on old maps until, downstream, it becomes Bottom Hall Beck, then Clifton Beck until it flows into the Calder.


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