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Mill buildings during restoration at Litton Mill
Green, H V
Litton Mill, near Miller's Dale
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Litton Mill is a small hamlet grouped around a former cotton mill on the River Wye. The mill was built in 1782 by Ellis Needham and in 1897 it burnt down and then rebuilt. The mill was originally water powered but later in its history steam power was used. The boiler house chimney is situated up the hill behind the mill in order to increase the flue length. In its early years it employed up to 400 people, most of them children, often orphans both local and from as far away as London. Cotton spinning was discontinued in 1930 although the mill continued spinning man-made fibre until the mid '60s. Litton mill has a shameful history, and in the nineteenth century its child workers were mistreated terribly. Food seemed to have consisted mainly of watery porridge flavoured with onion and the children were expected to work 16 hours a day. Beatings and abuse were rife and at one point, so many were dying that the owner sent the bodies to other parishes for burial so the local authorities wouldn't get alarmed by the number of fatalities. The mill is currently undergoing renovation for conversion into flats.