The Vatch is a small hamlet just to the south of Slad village.  The Riflemans Arms, a substantial 17th century stone house, is mentioned in the 1885 Kellys directory, but not in the 1891 licensing book.

There was once a Victorian industrial complex in the location called Vatch Mill. In the 1830’s it was operated by the Marling family and comprised of a substantial mill building powered by several steam engines. A tall brick chimney dominated the landscape. The mill workers no doubt frequented the Riflemans Arms for much needed refreshment. The cloth mill had become derelict by 1890, which obviously impacted on the trade at the Riflemans Arms. The mill was demolished soon afterwards. A tragedy occurred when an innocent observer was killed when the chimney stack fell – definitely a case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. The Riflemans is now a private residence.

Map Reference: SO 874064


1885 Andrew Smith

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