Mills in Whalley

WHALLEY CORN MILL

This was erected in 1837 by John Taylor of Moreton Hall to replace an older building sited slightly to the south-west. The original mill had been part of the Cistercian foundation of Whalley.

Machinery in the 1837 mill included four pairs of French burrs (flat pieces of metal,) a pair of grey stones and malt rollers.

In 1841 Thurston Tomlinson and John Ingham leased the mill, the business later becoming John Ingham & Sons in 1860, followed by Thomas Ingham and finally A. & H. Ingham.

In 1907 Whalley Farmers Limited took over the mill. The last owner, Whalley Abbey Corn Mill Limited, was formed in 1927 and was principally engaged in the manufacture of animal foodstuffs. The mill closed in April, 1989, and conversion to dwellings began during 1990.

Buildings : It was a two storey, garden fronted millerís house facing King Street. To the rear were offices, a stable with hayloft and a round-headed doorway leading to a covered passage. A loading slot was sited above the archway. An older office was situated immediately on the west of the passage and adjoined the four storey mill. The south gable had four centrally placed loading slots. A canopy was added at a later date.

A second stable and loft was built against the west wall of the mill. A two storey wheel-house projected from the north of the main building. The wheel chamber had a vaulted roof with cast iron beams, arched opening for the headwater and an internal iron sluice gate.

The low breast wheel, disused in 1961 was 15ft. 6ins. In diameter x 9ft. wide and had timber spokes, a cast iron shaft, hub and rims, timber and cast iron buckets. A goit (small stream) runs east under King Street to a large, V Shaped, stone built weir on the River Calder.

The water from the mill emptied into the River Calder a few metres below the road bridge. Opposite the main mill buildings was a 19th century cart shed and stable, with the main doors divided by a cast iron column.

The passage between the buildings is still paved in cobbles. The mill was constructed of random and watershot stone. Internally the buildings had details including cast-iron columns and timber floors.

WHALLEY BOBBIN MILL

This was established in 1820 and worked by John, Richard & Robert Riley.

The mill was powered by a water-wheel and a four horse-powered steam engine. Richard Riley died in 1852 and the site was leased by John Southworth & Sons, chairmakers of Waddington.

In 1858 the firm became W. & J. Southworth. 20 operatives were employed in 1861.

The Southworth's moved to Upbrooks, Clitheroe, during the 1860's and for a time the buildings were empty. Eventually the mill was acquired by William Langshaw & Sons, joiners, who occupied the site until 1989.

Buildings : Situated at the entrance to Brookside Close, just north of the Methodist Church.

The older buildings are on the east of the site and included a two storey bobbin shop, drying kiln, single storey workshop and covered yard. The wheel pit, indicating an overshot water-wheel, is inside the rear wall. Water runs underground in a roughly north-west direction.

A second two storey building, a chapel of rest, west of the bobbin mill shows evidence of extension. Random sandstone is the main building material. The slate roofs are supported on timber frames, with iron columns to the two storey parts.

The lower mill pond and bottom section of the goit have been built over. Close by are the remains of a simple weir on the stream. A second pond, now over grown is close to the footpath, a few metres from the weir.

The main part of the mill was converted into a dwelling during 1989.

WHALLEY BRICK WORKS

A brick and tile works at Three Nooked Field opened in 1870 by Levi Fish, who had previously run a similar business in Great Harwood. About 20 men, making drainage tiles, garden pots, bricks, etc, were employed at the works.

In 1883, Fish's sons dissolved their partnership and the brickyard was taken over by Whitaker & Company Limited of Blackburn.

At the beginning of the 20th century the buildings comprised of three drying sheds, a Scotch kiln and engine and boiler houses. The plant was driven by a 35 horse powered horizontal engine.

The Whitaker's had left Whalley by 1903, and were followed by Peter Holding, a former partner of Broadfield Pottery, Oswaldtwistle. Products included chimney pots, bricks, earthenware and terracotta specials.

Difficulties with the chemical composition of the available clay and shale ended Holding's attempt to run the works and by 1912 the buildings had been cleared.

Remains : The site is marked by quarry spoil and disturbed ground to the north of Riddings Lane. The embankment of a cart road running into the site can be clearly followed through the field south of the quarry.

HANDLOOM WEAVING SITES

Census evidence indicates that the domestic trade was well established in Whalley during the first half of the 19th century and handloom weavers were recorded living in Church Lane and King Street.

THANKS TO MIKE ROTHWELL (INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY OF BILLINGTON & WHALLEY) FOR THE ABOVE, COPYRIGHT MIKE ROTHWELL

PHOTOGRAPHS OF MILLS IN WHALLEYCLICK HERE

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