Shudehill Mill

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Shudehill Mill
Greater Manchester UK location map 2.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within Greater Manchester
Cotton
Alternative names Simpson's Mill, Old Mill
Arkwright mill
Structural system wooden floored
Owner Arkwright, Whittenbury, Brocklebank, Simpson and Simpson
Further ownership
  • 1786 (Simpson and Simpson)
Coordinates 53°29′14″N2°14′12″W / 53.4872°N 2.2366°W / 53.4872; -2.2366 Coordinates: 53°29′14″N2°14′12″W / 53.4872°N 2.2366°W / 53.4872; -2.2366
Construction
Renovated
  • 1:1854 (After fire)
Demolished 1940
Floor count 5
Floor area 60.9m X 9.1m
Power
Engine maker Hunt
Engine type Atmospheric steam engines
Water Power
Diameter / width of water wheel 9.1 m / 2.4 m
Date 1782
References
Williams & Farnie 1992, pp. 50,51

Shudehill Mill or Simpson's Mill was a very early cotton mill in Manchester city centre, England. It was built in 1782 by for Richard Arkwright and his partners and destroyed by fire in 1854. It was rebuilt and finally destroyed during the Manchester Blitz in 1940. One of Arkwright's larger mills, it was built three years before his patent lapsed. The mill had a 30 feet diameter water wheel and a Newcomen atmospheric engine was installed. Doubts remain as to why the engine was installed, whether it was a failed attempt to power a mill directly by steam or was modified to assist the wheel. It is possible that this engine, constructed by Hunt, [1] could have been one of the 13 engines installed in Manchester mills by Joshua Wrigley. [2] Water from the upper storage pond turned the water wheel to drive the mill. The steam engine recycled water from the lower storage pond to the upper storage pond. [3] Three more Boulton and Watt engines were installed to power the increasing number of spindles.

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.

Manchester city centre central business district of the City of Manchester, England

Manchester city centre is the central business district of Manchester, England, within the boundaries of Trinity Way, Great Ancoats Street and Whitworth Street. The City Centre ward had a population of 17,861 at the 2011 census.

Richard Arkwright textile entrepreneur; developer of the cotton mill

Sir Richard Arkwright was an English inventor and a leading entrepreneur during the early Industrial Revolution. Although his patents were eventually overturned, he is credited with inventing the spinning frame, which following the transition to water power was renamed the water frame. He also patented a rotary carding engine that transformed raw cotton into cotton lap.

Contents

Location

Shudehill is in the centre of Manchester, near its highest point. Shudehill Mill was built between Miller Street and Angel Street to the north of Rochdale Road; its site is now a car park. The River Irwell and Mersey had been made navigable to Manchester in the 1720s opening the way for importing raw cotton and exporting finished cloth and the Bridgewater Canal brought coal from the Worsley Navigable Levels to the Castlefield Basin after 1761. Arkwright had patented a water frame to spin cotton, and in 1775 patented a mechanical carding engine. He took out a second patent that year for drawing and roving. [4] All the pieces were in place for a large automated spinning mill to be built in Manchester. Shudehill Mill, a watermill, was next to a stream, but derived its power from cycling water between two storage ponds, a steam pump was used to replenish the upper pond from the lower.

River Irwell river in Lancashire, United Kingdom

The River Irwell is a 39-mile (63 km) long river which flows through the Irwell Valley in North West England. Its source is at Irwell Springs on Deerplay Moor, approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) north of Bacup. It forms the boundary between Manchester and Salford and empties into the River Mersey near Irlam.

River Mersey Major river emptying into Liverpool Bay

The River Mersey is a river in the North West of England. Its name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon language and translates as "boundary river". The river may have been the border between the ancient kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria and for centuries it formed part of the boundary between the historic counties of Lancashire and Cheshire.

Bridgewater Canal canal

The Bridgewater Canal connects Runcorn, Manchester and Leigh, in North West England. It was commissioned by Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, to transport coal from his mines in Worsley to Manchester. It was opened in 1761 from Worsley to Manchester, and later extended from Manchester to Runcorn, and then from Worsley to Leigh.

Shudehill Mill was close to three of Manchester's great stations, Manchester Victoria railway station, Manchester Exchange railway station and Oldham Road railway station. Shudehill Interchange is the present metro station. The mill itself would lie under the shadow of the CIS Tower. The Shudehill Conservation Area is the other side of the tower.

Manchester Exchange railway station

Manchester Exchange was a railway station in Salford, England, immediately north of Manchester city centre, which served the city between 1884 and 1969. The main approach road ran from the end of Deansgate near Manchester Cathedral, passing over the River Irwell, the Manchester-Salford boundary, and Chapel Street; a second approach road led up from Blackfriars Road. Most of the station was in Salford, with only the 1929 extension to Platform 3 east of the Irwell in Manchester.

Shudehill Interchange

Shudehill Interchange is a transport hub between Manchester Victoria station and the Northern Quarter in Manchester city centre, England, which comprises a Metrolink stop and a bus station.

CIS Tower skyscraper on Miller Street in Manchester, England

The CIS Tower is an office skyscraper on Miller Street in Manchester, England. It was completed in 1962 and rises to 387 feet in height. The Grade II listed building, which houses the Co-operative Banking Group, is Manchester's third-tallest building and the tallest office building in the United Kingdom outside London. The tower remained as built for over 40 years until maintenance issues on the service tower required an extensive renovation which included covering its facade in photovoltaic panels.

History

The site was originally used as a brick works; it was purchased in 1781, by Arkwright and his partners. Simpsons Mill was a five storey, Arkwright type mill 9.1 m wide and 60.9m long. It housed water frames, carding machines and roving and drawing frames using designs patented by Arkwright. It was driven by a 9.1 m diameter waterwheel driven from the upper storage pond. A steam engine drove a water pump to send the water back to the upper pond. It is thought that the steam engine was of the Newcomen type, [4] though some sources speculate that it could have been of the Savery type. The pump had two cylinders, 31 inches (79 cm) in diameter and a stroke of 93 inches (240 cm) — the steam cylinder was 64 inches (160 cm) in diameter. It operated at 11-12 strokes per minute. It used 5 tonnes of coal a day. It was perhaps because of this excessive coal consumption, that it was supplemented in 1790 with a 6 hp, Boulton and Watt rotative engine. They ran 4,000 spindles. A year later in 1791 they ordered a 40 hp rotative engine to replace them. This was the largest engine that Boulton and Watt had made at that time, and it was operating by the end of the summer in 1792. . [5] A further 30 hp Boulton and Watt was bought in 1799. [6] The mill was destroyed by fire in 1854.

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.

By 1888 it had been rebuilt using many of the original walls. It was at this stage that two extra storeys were added. The two reservoirs were filled in- it operated under steam. Then in October 1892, the mill was sold to Baxendale and Co., a firm of engineers and plumbers' merchants. They described 'the structure, of the mill, was massive brickwork with very heavy wooden floors supported by corbels in the walls.' They redeveloped the site. By 1908 the main building was subdivided. Baxendales mill was destroyed by enemy action on the night of 23 October 1940. The site remained derelict until it was redeveloped by NCP as a car-park. [6]

Architecture

Simpsons Mill was a five storey, Arkwright type mill said to be 9.1 m wide and 60.9m long. Baxendaleś mill was seven storeys, and used the same massive walls. In 2004, an archaeological dig was done on the site to try to solve some outstanding questions. It had been claimed that the Newcomen engine was not used as a pumping engine, but was an attempt that failed to power the mill directly from steam. The original width of the first mill was in doubt, and the position of the wheel pit not known. The results suggest that the mill was always 12m wide, and the wheel pit was internal to the mill. The original function of the Newcomen engine remains undecided. [7]

Power

The engine house and the chimney were detached from the mill, though a later engine house may have been built adjacent to the centre on the eastern side.

See also

Related Research Articles

Thomas Newcomen English inventor

Thomas Newcomen was an English inventor who created the first practical steam engine in 1712, the Newcomen atmospheric engine. He was an ironmonger by trade and a Baptist lay preacher by calling. He was born in Dartmouth, Devon, England, to a merchant family and baptised at St. Saviour's Church on 28 February 1664. In those days flooding in coal and tin mines was a major problem, and Newcomen was soon engaged in trying to improve ways to pump out the water from such mines. His ironmonger's business specialised in designing, manufacturing and selling tools for the mining industry.

Newcomen atmospheric engine early steam engine type

The atmospheric engine was invented by Thomas Newcomen in 1712, and is often referred to simply as a Newcomen engine. The engine was operated by condensing steam drawn into the cylinder, thereby creating a partial vacuum which allowed the atmospheric pressure to push the piston into the cylinder. It was the first practical device to harness steam to produce mechanical work. Newcomen engines were used throughout Britain and Europe, principally to pump water out of mines. Hundreds were constructed through the 18th century.

Watt steam engine

The Watt steam engine, alternatively known as the Boulton and Watt steam engine, was the first practical steam engine and was one of the driving forces of the industrial revolution. James Watt developed the design sporadically from 1763 to 1775 with support from Matthew Boulton. Watt's design saved significantly more fuel compared to earlier designs that they were licenced based on the amount of fuel they would save. Watt never ceased developing the steam engine, introducing double-acting designs and various systems for taking off rotary power. Watt's design became synonymous with steam engines, and it was many years before significantly new designs began to replace the basic Watt design.

Quarry Bank Mill

Quarry Bank Mill in Styal, Cheshire, England, is one of the best preserved textile mills of the Industrial Revolution and is now a museum of the cotton industry. Built in 1784, the mill is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed building, and inspired the 2013 television series The Mill. It was established by Samuel Greg. The mill was notable for the innovative approach to labour relations, largely as a result of the work of Greg's wife, Hannah Lightbody.

Steam power developed slowly over a period of several hundred years, progressing through expensive and fairly limited devices in the early 17th century, to useful pumps for mining in 1700, and then to Watt's improved steam engine designs in the late 18th century. It is these later designs, introduced just when the need for practical power was growing due to the Industrial Revolution, that truly made steam power commonplace.

Textile manufacture during the British Industrial Revolution early textile production via automated means

Textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution in Britain was centred in south Lancashire and the towns on both sides of the Pennines. In Germany it was concentrated in the Wupper Valley, Ruhr Region and Upper Silesia, in Spain it was concentrated in Catalonia while in the United States it was in New England. The four key drivers of the Industrial Revolution were textile manufacturing, iron founding, steam power and cheap labour.

Improvements to the steam engine were some of the most important technologies of the Industrial Revolution, although steam did not replace water power in importance in Britain until after the Industrial Revolution. From Englishman Thomas Newcomen's atmospheric engine, of 1712, through major developments by Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer James Watt, the steam engine began to be used in many industrial settings, not just in mining, where the first engines had been used to pump water from deep workings. Early mills had run successfully with water power, but by using a steam engine a factory could be located anywhere, not just close to water. Water power varied with the seasons and was not always available.

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.

History of the steam engine

The first recorded rudimentary steam engine was the aeolipile described by Heron of Alexandria in 1st-century Roman Egypt. Several steam-powered devices were later experimented with or proposed, such as Taqi al-Din's steam jack, a steam turbine in 16th-century Ottoman Egypt, and Thomas Savery's steam pump in 17th-century England. In 1712, Thomas Newcomen's atmospheric engine became the first commercially successful engine using the principle of the piston and cylinder, which was the fundamental type steam engine used until the early 20th century. The steam engine was used to pump water out of coal mines

Ring spinning

Ring spinning is a method of spinning fibres, such as cotton, flax or wool, to make a yarn. The ring frame developed from the throstle frame, which in its turn was a descendant of Arkwright's water frame. Ring spinning is a continuous process, unlike mule spinning which uses an intermittent action. In ring spinning, the roving is first attenuated by using drawing rollers, then spun and wound around a rotating spindle which in its turn is contained within an independently rotating ring flyer. Traditionally ring frames could only be used for the coarser counts, but they could be attended by semi-skilled labour.

Stalybridge Mill, Stalybridge

Stalybridge Mill, Stalybridge is a cotton spinning mill in Stalybridge, Tameside, Greater Manchester. It was built in 1868, and the engine reconfigured in around 1925. It was taken over by the Lancashire Cotton Corporation in the 1930s and passed to Courtaulds in 1964.

Haarlem Mill

Haarlem Mill, on the River Ecclesbourne in Wirksworth, Derbyshire, was an early cotton mill. Built by Richard Arkwright, it was the first cotton mill in the world to use a steam engine, though this was used to supplement the supply of water to the mill's water wheel, not to drive the machinery directly.

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.

<i>Old Bess</i> (beam engine)

Old Bess is an early beam engine built by the partnership of Boulton and Watt. The engine was constructed in 1777 and worked until 1848.

A water-returning engine was an early form of stationary steam engine, developed at the start of the Industrial Revolution in the middle of the 18th century. The first beam engines did not generate power by rotating a shaft but were developed as water pumps, mostly for draining mines. By coupling this pump with a water wheel, they could be used to drive machinery.

Resolution was an early beam engine, installed between 1781–1782 at Coalbrookdale as a water-returning engine to power the blast furnaces and ironworks there. It was one of the last water-returning engines to be constructed, before the rotative beam engine made this type of engine obsolete.

Piccadilly Mill, also known as Bank Top Mill or Drinkwater's Mill, owned by Peter Drinkwater, was the first cotton mill in Manchester, England, to be directly powered by a steam engine, and the 10th such mill in the world. Construction of the four-storey mill on Auburn Street started in 1789 and its 8 hp Boulton and Watt engine was installed and working by 1 May 1790. Initially the engine drove only the preparatory equipment and spinning was done manually. The mill-wright was Thomas Lowe, who had worked for William Fairbairn and helped with the planning two of Arkwright's earliest factories.

Mellor Mill

Mellor Mill, also known as Bottom's Mill, was a six-story cotton mill in Marple, Greater Manchester built by Samuel Oldknow in 1793.

Swan Lane Mills

Swan Lane Mills is a former cotton mill complex in Bolton, Greater Manchester. All three mills are Grade II* listed buildings. The mills were designed by Stott and Sons of Oldham. When completed, the double mill was the largest spinning mill in the world. It was granted Grade II* listed status on 26 April 1974. Number 3 Mill was separately listed as Grade II* on the same day.

References

Notes
  1. Wessex 2004 , p. 7
  2. Williams & Farnie 1992 , pp. 50,51
  3. Hills 1989 , p. 43
  4. 1 2 Hills 1989 , p. 41
  5. Hills 1989 , p. 49,50
  6. 1 2 3 Wessex 2004 , p. 10
  7. Wessex 2004 , p. 27
Bibliography