Sutton Weaver, Sutton Mills, Runcorn

Sutton Weaver village in Cheshire is a small village situated on the A56 between the towns of Frodsham and Runcorn.

Sutton Weaver Village
Photos courtesy:

SUTTON, a township 1 mile south from Middlewich, contains only 180 acres of land, and at the last census in 1841, had 7 houses and 38 inhabitants: population in 1801, 30; in 1831, 18. The manor belonged for many generations to the family of Venables, as parcel of the Barony of Kinderton, afterwards to the Vernons of Middlewich, from whom it passed by devise to Thomas Yate, M.D. Sutton Hall is a spacious brick residence; there is a corn mill in the township.

Sutton Mills

Sutton Mill and the Pickering Families


This mill was originally a small one on the demesne lands which from the 1750s onwards were rented as the large Sutton Hall Farm. In the early 1780s the Estate decided to convert the old cheese warehouse into a new mill. This was probably because by then much of the cheese going to the south of England was transported on the canals. They used a cut from the river Weaver which had been made in the 1730s and then improved it so as to create a large high-power new corn mill on the Weaver beside the Mersey estuary (see extract of map of 1753 under Cheese Warehouse).

In 1784 the mill was let to John Pickering for 20 years at a rent of £300p.a. He also rented a house for a further £40. [end Source]

According to Peter Pickering's memoirs (son of John Pickering) in 1785 lived with his family at Sutton Mills. His diary begins ...

"At the time that I was born the 23rd of August 1785, my Parents John and Mary Pickering, lived at Bridge Hous one mile from Frodsham in Cheshire but, as I was the youngest Child of my Parents viz, seven Sons and four Daughters, and my oldest Brother Thomas, having been born the 23rd August 1765, he was exactly twenty years older than I was, and old enough to establish himself;

Quay Side

"My Father resolved to Rent a Manufactory; the largest of its kind in Great Britain; which was then being in the process of being built; but the Dwelling Hous of said Manufactory, not yet habitable; my Parents were obliged to live in the Ware House of said Manufactory until such time, as the Dwelling Hous became habitable; and, consiquently I was born in said Warehouse; and as my Father was the first and original Renter of said Manufactory; so; it remains rented in my Parents Family up to the present period from the time it was built. ..."

By the 1780s the water-ways of north west England had been greatly increased and improved. The Frodsham end of the Mersey estuary gave access to
... The Weaver Navigation to Northwich and Winsford
... The Trent & Mersey canal to the Potteries and further south
... The Bridgewater canal to Manchester
... The old Mersey and Irwell Navigation to Manchester
... The Sankey Navigation to St Helens

Ships carrying grain from the south of England, the Baltic or America could deliver it cheaply into the new Sutton mill so that flour and oatmeal could be economically carried to the rapidly growing industrial populations.

Access to many detailed invoices from the businesses that built the new mill is given by using the search term ‘Sutton Mill’ in the location field of the Receipted Invoices database.

In Kelly's 1857 there are only two lines regarding Sutton:
"Sutton is 1 mile south of Middlewich containing only three farms and a Mill with a population of 23 and 160 acres. The following are in occupation:
                James Beech, Farmer, The Cottage
                John Garnet, Farmer, Glebe Farm
                Samuel Pickering, Miller.
                George Sutton, Farmer, The Hall Farm.
No mention of Sutton Manor although there was a Manor at Occlestone 1 mile further South.


Memorandum of an agreement between George Heron of Daresbury Hall, clerk (a devisee in trust and an executor of the late Henry Charles Aston of Aston Hall, esq.), and John Rigby Pickering of Frodsham, meal and flour dealer (on the part of Alice Pickering), for arbitration concerning a dispute about an expired lease of Sutton Mills and adjoining premises  RYCH/2078  March 3, 1830