Amity Crest

The Lodge of Amity and
Rossendale Forest No.283

Rossendale Forest Crest

Mill House
the Home of Freemasonry in Clayton-le-Moors

A little bit of history...

By the side of the Leeds and Liverpool canal at Clayton-le-Moors once stood an old Corn Mill founded in 1841 by Joseph Appleby an highly regarded Industrialist and Philanthropist of the time, the Mill was serviced by both road and canal as can be seen in the photographs below; although the Appleby Family made good use of the canal by having their own fleet of barges to transport their products.

Arthur Appleby
Arthur Appleby

However, for the cricketers amongst you - Arthur Appleby the second son of Joseph Appleby, the founder of the firm of Joseph Appleby and Sons, corn merchants and millers, who owned mills in Enfield (Mill House), Blackburn and Liverpool, all on the banks of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal; was born on 22 July 1843 at Henfield (Enfield), Clayton-le-Moors and became a first-class English cricketer. Educated at Milnshaw and later at Grange School, Thorpe Arch, near Tadcaster, North Yorkshire; he began his playing days at Enfield Cricket Club, Clayton-le-Moors in 1861 when he was 18. He played in 58 matches for Lancashire between 1866 and 1887 and in 81 first-class matches in total and continued playing until about 1901.

He was about twenty years of age when he started to show an interest in his father's business at the Corn Mill in Enfield, Clayton-le-Moors and a few years later he became a partner in the firm. He and his elder brother Edgar assumed control of the family firm after their father's death in 1878. Amongst other directorships, he sat on the board of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. He was an Alderman of the Lancashire County Council and Chairman of the County Bench, sitting at Church.

He died aged 59 at Mill House, Enfield, Clayton-le-Moors, Lancashire, on 24 October 1902. When he died all work ceased in Enfield and schools were closed for the day in respect for a great Lancastrian. Nearly 700 walked behind the coffin on its journey from Mill House to All Saints' Church. Thirty-two private carriages followed in the procession, eight of them containing his corn merchants colleagues from Liverpool and Bootle.  

It was the canal, coal and cotton which changed Clayton-le-Moors from a sleepy old hamlet to a bustling industrial village. From 1801 to 1810, Enfield was the terminus of the canal, until the finance was raised to complete the canal, first to Blackburn, then on to Wigan and eventually to Liverpool. The canal at Enfield has a number of substantial warehouses and buildings and this stretch of the canal has several old swing bridges.

PlaqueSubsequently this Corn Mill was occupied by the East Lancashire Soap Company who converted it into a soap factory, producing among other lines the Dr Lovelace's Soap, famous for its patented floating properties, it was very popular at the time as it didn't get lost in the bath. The plaque to the right is on the right hand Gateway pillar of Mill House. The factory has long gone (now the Car park) but the House and what we assume to be the Mill offices still remain. The original photographs of those below are displayed in the bar area of the Masonic Hall as part of its history.


The brethren of Albert Edward Lodge, Ganddaughter of Amity Lodge, recognising its potential from a concept put forward by W.Bro. Alan Joinson PPJGW, purchased the building and land in the late 1960's and converted the old property into a Masonic Hall. A brass plaque commemorating the life and foresight of W.Bro Joinson is displayed in the Festive Board room. For more information on the demolition of the Corn Mill and the restoration of Mill House please click the appropriate button at the end of this page.


Our Lodge now meets at the Masonic Hall, Mill House, Clayton-le-Moors.

The Masonic Hall has been extensively refurbished during the summer recess (2011)
with new Ladies/Gents/Disabled Toilet facilities plus improved access for the Disabled.

The new extension built with donations from the Haslingden Masonic Hall Company
representing the three "ex-Haslingden Lodges" - Amity (283) - Commerce (215) - Rossendale Forest (4138);
now gives extra facilities in the form of a new Entrance, new Lodge Room, anteroom, store room and Toilets.


The new extension and refurbishment was officially opened on Saturday the 3 September 2011 by the
Provincial Grand Master of East Lancashire,
RW Bro. Jack Price.

RW Bro. Jack Price PGM
3 April 1937 to 23 October 2011

Interior of the New Lodge Room

View towards the East.

View towards the West.

View towards the South.

Mill House viewed from the Canal

~ Lodges meeting at Mill House ~
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