Britannia Mill, Bacup, Given Grade II Listed Status

Published August 3, 2016 at 15:24

Historic England puts Britannia Mill, Bacup in their List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest

The report from Historic England states that Britannia Mill, on New Line in Bacup, is a well-preserved and rare example of a mid-19th century integrated mill complex.

The Mill now has Grade II listed status.

Britannia Mill

It was listed for the following reasons:

* Date and rarity: as a relatively early purpose-built integrated Lancashire cotton weaving and spinning mill, of which only 15 remain substantially complete nationally;

* Survival: for the completeness of its complex, including substantial in situ remnants of the power transmission system;

* Technological interest: in particular for the range of different bearing designs throughout the power transmission system, and the design of the trusses in the weaving shed, illustrating changes in typical mill building technology.

Bethan Frost, Conservation Officer at Rossendale Borough Council said;

Britannia Mill has been given Grade II listed status because this mill is one of only 15 in the country that remains relatively complete. It has complete remains of the transmission system that powered the mill, and its design is unusual and illustrates important changes in the textile industry. It also has a surviving chimney which is very rare. Rossendale is of national importance in the development of the textile industry and its mills are the reason the borough grew to have such spectacular civic buildings, beautiful churches and chapels, and grand mill owners’ houses. The listing of Britannia mill is recognition of Rossendale’s importance in the textile industry, and reflection of the importance of this particular mill being so complete: it is a piece of living history.”

This brings the total number of listed textile buildings in Rossendale to eleven. Rossendale also has two scheduled monuments, Higher Mill, Helmshore, and Grane Mill.

Cllr Christine Lamb, Portfolio Holder for Planning welcomed the announcement for Historic England saying;

“This is a fantastic achievement and reflects Rossendale’s importance in the development of the textile industry.”

Britannia Mill

Brief History of the Mill

Britannia Mill was established as a purpose-built integrated cotton spinning and weaving mill in 1845-6 by Henry and Joshua Maden, cotton manufacturers of Dulesgate and proprietors of the adjacent Hogshead Colliery. Some of the houses in the immediate vicinity were erected for workers in the mill, including 141-183 New Line and those on Nelson, Sutcliffe, William and Ernest streets.

The mill, then known as Brandwood Mill, was advertised for sale in 1856, and taken over by the Britannia Cotton Mill Company Ltd, the shareholders being Joshua Lord, Richard Smith and William Sutcliffe. A warehouse was added in 1865, and a new engine house in 1868. Between 1868-70, offices, a piece room, a weaving shed and preparation rooms were added. The detached warehouse on the opposite side of Deansgreave Road was the last work of this phase. In March 1886, the mill sustained a large fire and was repaired with insurance monies. It was sold as a going concern in September 1905, operating intermittently until 1915, when The Britannia Mill Company was formed. In 1923, the mill was taken over by the Deansgreave Manufacturing Company and then bought by the Lancashire Sock Company in 1926, but was not working when further fires occurred in 1930 and 1931. By May 1933, the weaving shed was occupied by Messrs Gaskell & Co, felt manufacturers. Gaskells moved out in 1990. The Lancashire Sock Company currently produces synthetic coated insoles for shoes at the mill.

Various minor additions and demolitions have taken place since the late C19 including the addition and removal of a large brick dust tower to the weaving shed, and erection and removal of single storey buildings in the SW corner of the site.

Britannia Mill

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