Chorlton New Mills

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Chorlton New Mill with Chorlton Old Mill to right Cambridge Mill and Chorlton New Mill - geograph.org.uk - 712877.jpg
Chorlton New Mill with Chorlton Old Mill to right

Chorlton New Mills is a former large cotton spinning complex in Cambridge Street, Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester, England which has since been converted to apartments. [1]

Chorlton-on-Medlock inner city area of Manchester, England

Chorlton-on-Medlock is an inner city area of Manchester, England.

The complex was initially established in 1814 by members of the Birley family. The original block was an 8-storey building, including two storeys below ground level, of 20 bays and is the oldest surviving fireproof mill in Greater Manchester. It was powered by a 100hp Boulton and Watt beam engine and illuminated by gas produced in the basement, where it was stored in three gasholders. It stands adjacent to Chorlton Old Mill, rebuilt in 1866 on the site of Robert Owen's 1795 Chorlton Twist Mill.

Boulton & Watt was an early British engineering and manufacturing firm in the business of designing and making marine and stationary steam engines. Founded in the English West Midlands around Birmingham in 1775 as a partnership between the English manufacturer Matthew Boulton and the Scottish engineer James Watt, the firm had a major role in the Industrial Revolution and grew to be a major producer of steam engines in the 19th century.

Beam engine

A beam engine is a type of steam engine where a pivoted overhead beam is used to apply the force from a vertical piston to a vertical connecting rod. This configuration, with the engine directly driving a pump, was first used by Thomas Newcomen around 1705 to remove water from mines in Cornwall. The efficiency of the engines was improved by engineers including James Watt who added a separate condenser, Jonathan Hornblower and Arthur Woolf who compounded the cylinders, and William McNaught (Glasgow) who devised a method of compounding an existing engine. Beam engines were first used to pump water out of mines or into canals, but could be used to pump water to supplement the flow for a waterwheel powering a mill.

Robert Owen Welsh social reformer

Robert Owen was a Welsh textile manufacturer, philanthropic social reformer, and one of the founders of utopian socialism and the cooperative movement. Owen is best known for his efforts to improve the working conditions of his factory workers and his promotion of experimental socialistic communities. In the early 1800s Owen became wealthy as an investor and eventual manager of a large textile mill at New Lanark, Scotland. He initially trained as a draper in Stamford, Lincolnshire, and worked in London before relocating at the age of 18 to Manchester and going into business as a textile manufacturer. In 1824, Owen travelled to America, where he invested the bulk of his fortune in an experimental socialistic community at New Harmony, Indiana, the preliminary model for Owen's utopian society. The experiment was short-lived, lasting about two years. Other Owenite utopian communities met a similar fate. In 1828, Owen returned to the United Kingdom and settled in London, where he continued to be an advocate for the working class. In addition to his leadership in the development of cooperatives and the trade union movement, he also supported passage of child labour laws and free, co-educational schools.

An extra wing was added to the new mill in 1818, originally powered from the main building but later provided with its own external engine house. In 1829 a 600 loom weaving shed was added, which has since been demolished. In 1845 the two existing spinning blocks were connected by the building of a third 6-bay fireproof block with an internal engine house. The basements of the complex were connected to those of nearby mills by a system of tunnels.

In 1860 the site was taken over by Charles Macintosh and used, together with other nearby mills, for the production of rubberised fabric. It has since been converted to living accommodation.

Charles Macintosh British chemist

Charles Macintosh FRS was a Scottish chemist and the inventor of waterproof fabric. The Mackintosh raincoat is named after him.

Together with its metal-bound chimney, built in 1853, it is a Grade II listed building. [2]

See also

Manchester is a city in Northwest England. The M1 postcode area of the city includes part of the city centre, in particular the Northern Quarter, the area known as Chinatown, and part of the district of Chorlton-on-Medlock. The postcode area contains 192 listed buildings that are recorded in the National Heritage List for England. Of these, 14 are listed at Grade II*, the middle of the three grades, and the others are at Grade II, the lowest grade.

Hugh Birley was a British businessman and Conservative politician.

Hugh Hornby Birley British Army officer and businessman

Hugh Hornby Birley was a leading Manchester millowner and Tory who is reputed to have led the fatal charge of the Manchester and Salford Yeomanry at the Peterloo Massacre on 16 August 1819.

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References

  1. Williams, Mike; D.A. Farnie. Cotton Mills in Greater Manchester. p. 158.
  2. Historic England. "CHORLTON NEW MILL AND ATTACHED CHIMNEY (1197774)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 28 April 2016.

Coordinates: 53°28′23″N2°14′46″W / 53.473°N 2.246°W / 53.473; -2.246

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

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