This small remote farming community must have been surprised when a Bobbin Turning Industry arrived in Martindale in the early 1820’s. The Mill was built by ‘off-comers’, worked by ‘off- comers’, and the end product sold out of the area to the cotton spinning factories of Lancaster, for their ever-whirring machines. The industrial revolution had reached this quiet rural area.
The mill was powered by the fast-flowing and plentiful water of Fusedale Beck, which enters the lake at the present steamer pier; the mill was developed on the site of an earlier Fulling Mill, such mills being commonplace in sheep-farming wool areas.
Fulling is the process of scouring wool and thickening it after it has been woven. This was originally achieved by walking on and treading lengths of wet wool. Water-driven paddles were then invented to do the task more efficiently. The other requirement was potash. This was produced by burning the plentiful green bracken from the adjoining fells, in a specially constructed stone built kiln. The ash produced was mixed with tallow and lime to make a soft soap to scour and clean the wool