Havelock Mills

Last updated

Havelock Mills
Great Bridgewater Street Mills
Greater Manchester UK location map 2.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within Greater Manchester
Silk throwing Cotton spinning
Structural systemFairbairn cast iron frame
Serving canalRochdale Canal
Coordinates 53°30′N2°15′W / 53.5°N 2.25°W / 53.5; -2.25 Coordinates: 53°30′N2°15′W / 53.5°N 2.25°W / 53.5; -2.25
Built1820, 1840
Floor count7
Transmission typeVertical shaft

Havelock Mills in central Manchester were built between 1820 and 1840. It was probably the largest surviving silk mill in the north-west region in the 1970s and had a unique combination of silk and cotton mills on one site. It was a landmark on the Rochdale Canal, overlooking Tib Lock, one of the Rochdale Nine. [1]



The mills on the Rochdale Canal, although listed, now demolished Havelock Mills.svg
The mills on the Rochdale Canal, although listed, now demolished

The mills were built on the canal side on Great Bridgewater Street. The Manchester and Salford Junction Canal was to the east, and Rochdale Canal's Tib Lock (Lock 89) was to the south.


The mill was a large silk mill and early spinning mill. It was granted Grade II listed building status but was demolished in 1992. The site is now occupied by the Evershed Building. [2]

Demolition of the Grade II listed building was controversial but went ahead after protests and a public inquiry. [3] Before demolition, the developer agreed to a programme of structural tests on the building frame sponsored by English Heritage and the Department of Trade and Industry. The designer of the frame is anonymous, but it is in the style of the Manchester engineer William Fairbairn.

Part of the iron frame re-erected on the UMIST campus Remains of Havelock Mill - geograph.org.uk - 276357.jpg
Part of the iron frame re-erected on the UMIST campus

After demolition Joe Marsh and Tom Swaile of UMIST arranged for part of the iron frame to be re-erected on the UMIST campus. Assembly on campus was by Percival Brothers of Stockport. Another part of the frame was shipped to Paris and formed the 'gateway' piece to an exhibition at the Pompidou Centre "The Art of the Structural Engineer". [lower-alpha 1]

Evershed building where Havelock Mills used to be Manchester Rochdale Canal 89 4593.JPG
Evershed building where Havelock Mills used to be


Havelock Mills were two interlinked L-shaped multi-storey mills. They were notable in that the mill built in 1820 was a silk-mill and the second, built in 1840 was a fire-proof cotton mill.

The silk mill was of six storeys over a basement and had 18 bays facing Great Bridgewater Street (Nos 72 and 74). The windows had raised sills and wedge lintels. Three bays were blind. The doorways were round-headed with rusticated long-and-short surrounds. The 20-bay west range had segmental-headed windows with raised sills, and loading doors on most floors, the octagonal chimney was in the south-west corner. The rear of the main range had a garderobe turret (privy tower) to the right and a semi-octagonal turret in the centre.

The cotton mill was of a basement and six storeys, its 10 bays were at right angles to the street. It was 4 bays wide and attached by a two-bay link to the silk mill over the wagon entrance to the court-yard. The cotton mill was of fire-proof construction with 2 rows of cast-iron columns, and parabolic cast-iron beams carrying brick vaulting. Attached to south wall was a full-height vertical drive-shaft. The parabolic cast-iron beams were Hodgkinson beams, of the type that William Fairbairn had devised after intensive stress analysis tests carried out at the Ancoats foundry three years earlier.

The cotton mill has a fire-proofed basement boiler-house with massive cast-iron girders and stone flagged floors. Its cast-iron spiral staircase was contained in a semicircular turret at the south-west corner.

The detached engine house contained a beam engine. [3] [4]

See also

Related Research Articles

Castlefield Human settlement in England

Castlefield is an inner city conservation area of Manchester in North West England. The conservation area which bears its name is bounded by the River Irwell, Quay Street, Deansgate and Chester Road. It was the site of the Roman era fort of Mamucium or Mancunium which gave its name to Manchester. It was the terminus of the Bridgewater Canal, the world's first industrial canal, built in 1764; the oldest canal warehouse opened in 1779. The world's first passenger railway terminated here in 1830, at Liverpool Road railway station and the first railway warehouse opened here in 1831.

Quarry Bank Mill National Trust preserved textile mill in Cheshire, England

Quarry Bank Mill in Styal, Cheshire, England, is one of the best preserved textile factories of the Industrial Revolution. Built in 1784, the cotton mill is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed building. The National Trust, which runs the site as a museum, calls it "one of Britain's greatest industrial heritage sites, home to a complete industrial community". Quarry Bank Mill was established by Samuel Greg, and was notable for innovations both in machinery and also in its approach to labour relations, largely as a result of the work of Greg's wife, Hannah Lightbody. The relationship between owners and employees is explored in the 2013 television series The Mill.

Cotton mill factory housing powered spinning or weaving machinery for the production of yarn or cloth from cotton

A cotton mill is a building housing spinning or weaving machinery for the production of yarn or cloth from cotton, an important product during the Industrial Revolution in the development of the factory system.

Hat Works

The Hat Works is a museum in Stockport, Greater Manchester, England, which opened in 2000. Before that, smaller displays of hatting equipment were exhibited in Stockport Museum and in the former Battersby hat factory.

Murrays Mills grade II listed architectural structure in Manchester, United kingdom

Murrays' Mills is a complex of former cotton mills on land between Jersey Street and the Rochdale Canal in the district of Ancoats, Manchester, England. The mills were built for brothers Adam and George Murray.

Cavendish Mill, Ashton-under-Lyne

Cavendish Mill is a Grade II* listed former cotton spinning mill in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, in the United Kingdom. It was built between 1884 and 1885 for the Cavendish Spinning Company by Potts, Pickup & Dixon of Oldham. Cavendish Mill was next to the Ashton Canal Warehouse at Portland Basin. It ceased spinning cotton in 1934 and was then used for a variety of purposes before it was converted into housing in 1994.

Brunswick Mill, Ancoats grade II listed mill in Manchester, United kingdom

Brunswick Mill, Ancoats is a former cotton spinning mill in Ancoats, Manchester, England. The mill was built around 1840, part of a group of mills built along the Ashton Canal, and at that time it was one of the country's largest mills. It was built round a quadrangle, a seven-storey block facing the canal. It was taken over by the Lancashire Cotton Corporation in the 1930s and passed to Courtaulds in 1964. Production finished in 1967.

Palmer Mills, Stockport

Palmer Mills, Stockport were cotton spinning mills in Portwood, Stockport, Greater Manchester. Built in the late 19th century, It was taken over by the Lancashire Cotton Corporation in the 1930s and sold on. Renamed the Stockport Paper Mill they survived into the 21st century when they were demolished to be replaced by modern businesses.

Saxon Mill, Droylsden

Saxon Mill, Droylsden was a cotton spinning mill in Droylsden, Tameside, Greater Manchester. It was built in the 1907, taken over by the Lancashire Cotton Corporation in the 1930s and passed to Courtaulds in 1964. Production finished in the 1960s, the engine was scrapped in 1967, and the mill demolished in 1995.

Malta Mill, Middleton

Malta Mill, Middleton is a former cotton spinning mill in the Mills Hill area of Chadderton, Greater Manchester. It lies alongside the Rochdale Canal. It was built in 1904 as a new mule mill, by F. W. Dixon The engine stopped in 1963. The building still stands.

Harp Mill, Castleton

Harp Mill was a former cotton spinning mill in the Castleton area of Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England. Queensway, Castleton was a hub of cotton mills including the three 't', Th'Arrow, Th'Harp, and Th'Ensor. The 1908 Castleton map includes: Marland Cotton Mill, Castleton Cotton Mill, Globe Works, Arrow Cotton Mill, Harp Cotton Mill, Globe Leather Works, Castleton Size Works and Castleton Iron Works. Th'Harp was taken over by the Lancashire Cotton Corporation in the 1930s and passed to Courtaulds in 1964. The site now houses industrial units.

Mars Mill, Castleton

Mars Mill was a former cotton spinning mill in Castleton, Rochdale, Greater Manchester. Castleton joined the Borough of Rochdale in 1899. Queensway, Castleton was a hub of cotton mills; Mars, Marland, and Castleton Mill were a group of three. It was taken over by the Lancashire Cotton Corporation in the 1930s and passed to Courtaulds in 1964 and demolished in the 1990s; Marland survived until 2004.

McConnel & Kennedy Mills

McConnel & Kennedy Mills are a group of cotton mills on Redhill Street in Ancoats, Manchester, England. With the adjoining Murrays' Mills, they form a nationally important group.

Weavers Triangle Historic textie-producing area with a cotton museum in Lancashire, England

The Weavers' Triangle is an area of Burnley in Lancashire, England consisting mostly of 19th-century industrial buildings at the western side of town centre clustered around the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The area has significant historic interest as the cotton mills and associated buildings encapsulate the social and economic development of the town and its weaving industry. From the 1980s, the area has been the focus of major redevelopment efforts.

Ellenroad Mill cotton mill

Ellenroad Mill was a cotton spinning mill in Newhey, Milnrow, Rochdale in England. It was built as a mule spinning mill in 1890 by Stott and Sons and extended in 1899. It was destroyed by fire on 19 January 1916. When it was rebuilt, it was designed and equipped as a ring spinning mill.

Royal Mill

Royal Mill, which is located on the corner of Redhill Street and Henry Street, Ancoats, in Manchester, England, is an early-twentieth-century cotton mill, one of the last of "an internationally important group of cotton-spinning mills" sited in East Manchester. Royal Mill was constructed in 1912 on part of the site of the earlier McConnel & Kennedy mills, established in 1798. It was originally called New Old Mill and was renamed following a royal visit by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1942. A plaque commemorates the occasion. The Ancoats mills collectively comprise "the best and most-complete surviving examples of early large-scale factories concentrated in one area".

Clarence Mill

Clarence Mill is a five-storey former cotton spinning mill in Bollington, Cheshire, in England. It was built between 1834 and 1877 for the Swindells Family of Bollington. Clarence Mill was built alongside the Macclesfield Canal which opened in 1831.

Weaving shed single storey mill developed in the early 1800s to accommodate power loom weaving

A weaving shed is a distinctive type of single storey mill developed in the early 1800s in Lancashire, Derbyshire and Yorkshire to accommodate the new power looms weaving cotton, silk, woollen and worsted. A weaving shed can be a stand-alone mill, or a component of a combined mill. Power looms cause severe vibrations requiring them to be located on a solid ground floor. In the case of cotton, the weaving shed needs to remain moist. Maximum daylight is achieved, by the sawtooth "north-facing roof lights".

Kearsley Mill Bolton, Greater Manchester, M26

Kearsley Mill is a 240,000 sq ft, late period cotton mill located in the small village of Prestolee in Kearsley, Greater Manchester. A near complete example of Edwardian mill architecture, the building now functions as headquarters for a number of businesses and is still used in the continued manufacturing and distribution of textiles by Richard Haworth Ltd Est (1876), part of the Ruia Group. The mill is a Grade II listed building.

Wear Mill, Stockport

Wear Mill was an integrated cotton works on the Cheadle Heath bank of the River Mersey in Stockport, Greater Manchester, in England. It was started around 1790 and added to, particularly in 1831 and 1884. In 1840, the Stockport Viaduct was built over the river and over Wear Mill.



  1. Details of the test were published by Joe Marsh and Tom Swailes in Structural Appraisal of Iron-framed Textile Mills, published in 1998 by the Institution of Civil Engineers through their publishing arm Thomas Telford. [3]


  1. British Listed Buildings.
  2. Holden 2004.
  3. 1 2 3 Swailes 1995.
  4. Roberts 1921.


  • Swailes, Tom; Joe Marsh (1998). Structural Appraisal of Iron-framed Textile Mills. Institution of Civil Engineers (Great Britain), University of Manchester. Historic Structures Group. Thomas Telford Publishing. ISBN   9780727727138.