Gibson Mill

At the Society’s November meeting in the Maurice Jagger Centre Alistair Bishop spoke about the colourful history of Gibson Mill in Hardcastle Crags, near Hebden Bridge.

Built in 1802, it was a cotton mill for a century before closing, later reopening as an Entertainments Emporium in response to increased visitors to Hardcastle Crags. In its heyday there was a dining room there, also a dance hall, a boating lake and the very popular roller skating in what is now the café. In 1956 the last of the Gibson family died and the Mill was donated to the National Trust.

It remained mainly unused for 50 years until with the help of Lottery Funding it was restored at the beginning of the 21st century, reopening in 2005 still without mains electricity, water or drainage. It creates power from a turbine and solar panels. It uses spring water and has “green” toilets! It is a model of how buildings can be self-sufficient in a remote location.

Geoff Barnes
Vice Chair and Publicity Officer