In 1840 Joseph Brooke founded the stone and granite quarrying firm of Joseph Brooke Ltd. His sons - Aspinall, Newton and Willie-later joined the company. Willie was head of the Company from 1876. Following his death in a railway accident in Lightcliffe Tunnel, Newton succeeded him as Head of the Company. His name is still remembered in Newton Park, Hove Edge. Rooted in the stone industry with some 12 sites in the Hipperholme and Lightcliffe district, the Company also expanded into quarrying granite in Westmoreland, Guernsey, Wales, Norway and Sweden. Its big breakthrough was in 1898 when it patented a non-slip artificial paving stone, soon to be in great demand throughout the country and at least 50 local authorities were customers. The firm had their own steamship to carry stone to such places as London and its own branch railway line. The firm closed in 1969.
The firm of Brookes Chemicals Ltd was born out of Brookes the stone quarry owners, when one of the factories was used to produce picric acid for shells. They later went into making bitumen road coatings. Business closed in 1969