21 years after blaze, Oats Royd has a new lease of life at last

Fulwood Grasshoppers ground at Lightfoot Lane
Fulwood Grasshoppers ground at Lightfoot Lane

THE grade two listed Oats Royd Mill, in Luddenden has finally been restored after a huge blaze in 1989 threatened to turn the whole complex to rubble.

It straddles Dean House Lane, and was built by John Murgatroyd in 1847 as a steam powered mill and at its height employed 2,000.

In 1982 the decline for locally produced textiles forced its closure when as a weaving operation it employed 163.

Then, in February 1989 around 100 firefighters fought a fierce blaze which ripped through the huge complex and destroyed much of the mill.

Lowry Renaissance later re-developed part of the complex and now JT and RB Land Developments are putting the finishing touches to the remaining structure.

In a multi-million pound development, 42 one and two bedroomed apartments have been created by the company headed by World Superbike Champion James Toesland and his manager Roger Burnett.

Their managing agent Steven Jackson said it had been a sympathetic restoration which retained old features including a mill pound at the rear.

The exterior of the grade two listed mill had been retained and two-thirds of the building is in its original state - the remaining one third has an internal steel structure due to the fire damage.

Parking is available where a destroyed part of the mill once stood.

Mr Jackson said local history had been preserved for future generations.

“It was in disrepair and has been brought back into a ‘living’ building which would otherwise have been knocked down,” he said.

Builders started on site more than two years ago and Mr Jackson said Calderdale planners had been very helpful in working with the company on the listed building’s redevelopment.

He hoped the stunning countryside location would help attract sales in a depressed market and said there had already been healthy interest.

Prices start from £90,000 for a one bedroomed apartment through to £199,000 for a penthouse.

A show home is now open Friday to Sunday and sales are being handled by W. H. Brown.