Chadderton's
Cotton Industry

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Sun Mill
Watts Street, Stock Brook.

The first textile limited liability company in Lancashire. Foundation stone laid 4th May 1861 by Dr Watts of Manchester

 Although dependent on a plant native to distant lands,the Lancashire cotton industry was to revolutionise Britain, and subsequently the world, during the course of the nineteenth century. The growth of the industry provided Britain with much of its wealth, and in so doing contributed to its supremacy on the world stage. As a direct result of this industry the ancient township of Chadderton evolved dramatically from a sparcely populated rural area, dominated by its Lords of the Manor, into a Victorian industrial town.
 

Its population when the first cotton factory - the water powered Bank Mill - was built in 1776, was approximately 2,000 and even at the first census of 1801 there were only 3,452 people in the township. One hundred years later the figure had reached 24,892 and some 6,000 people worked in the cotton mills of Chadderton, giving some indication as to its strength.

 

By the 1930's Chadderton was the second largest Urban District in England's most populated county of Lancashire, and at the beginning of the second half of the twentieth century the population had exceeded 32,000! Over sixty textile factories had been built throughout the town, and without doubt Chadderton can claim to have played a most important role during the significant period of history when: 'England's bread hangs by Lancashire's thread'.

 

The aptly-named Chadderton Mill, on Fields New Road, has the unique claim to fame of being the last survivor of the town's once-sizable cotton industry. Sadly, this mill was to spin its last cotton on 22nd June 2000, thus bringing to an end an era which had lasted for two and a quarter centuries.

 

Although textile processing has now ceased entirely in Chadderton, fifteen traditional mill buildings survive as witnesses to what was the dominant industry. These industrial giants tower above the local landscape, many having been adapted to other purposes, and it is likely that some of the more modern structures will survive for many years to come. As the years pass, they will serve as poignant reminders to future generations, of the industry which was largely responsible for creating Chadderton as it exists today.

 

From 'Chadderton's Cotton Industry', by Michael Lawson.

Booklet (5,000 words) available in mid-January.

 

Gazetteer
The following list gives in alphabetical order all the textile processing factories known

to have existed in Chadderton, together with any alternative name. In several cases the

mill may have been built on the same site as an earlier  one. The date of closure is the

date when all processing finally finished on the premises. The symbol **** means that

the building itself is still in existence, although used for other purposes, while a single

* after the date of demolition indicates that some evidence of the mill still remains..

 
 

Name

Erected

Closed

Demolished

Ace

1914

1967

****

Acorn

c1860

c1916

c1916*

Albion

1884

1934

1938

Alder Root

c1860

c1883

c1883

Apex (Green Lane)

1871

1928

c1928

Asia

1904

1981

1982

Avon (Landsdowne)

1861

1936

1937

Bank

c1776

c1840

c1895*

Baytree

1903

1959

1985

Bentfield (a)

1969

1991

****

Boundary

c1860

c1932

c1932

Bower

c1780

?

c1900

Busk

c1847

1931

1931

Butler Green

1863

1935

1948

Chadderton

1885

2000

****

Clarence

c1869

?

1889

Clough

c1776

c1800

?

Elk

1926

1998

1999

Falcon (b)

1885

1959

****

Fernhurst

1905

1964

****

Firwood

c1844

c1935

1960

Forge(Stock Lane)

1858

1940

1978*

Gem

1901

1937

****

Glebe

1866

1970

1973

Glenby

1885

1959

1962

Gordon

1884

1959

c1968

Gorse

1908

1959

****

Grimshaw

1874

c1930

c1946

Hawthorn

1878

1970

1971

Junction

1874

1955

2000*

Kent

1908

1991

1994

Lark

1901

1938

1938

Laurel

1905

c1966

1988

Logwood(c)

c1859

c1923

c1923

Magnet

1902

1966

c1967

Malta

1905

1963

****

Manor

1906

1990

****

Melbourne

1860

1959

1980

Melrose

1869

1935

c1942

Mills Hill (d)

c1875

?

1909

Mona

1905

1959

****

Nile

1898

1960

****

Oak

1874

1929

1934

Osborne

1853

1973

1973

Palm

1884

1926

1928*

Ram (Orb)

1907

1971

****

Ramsey

1906

1934

1979

Raven

1907

1959

****

Richmond

1889

1932

1976

Rose

1885

1946

2007(after it burnt down in February)

Rugby

1908

1985

****

Rushbank

c1862

1935

1974

Spring

c1870

c1953

c1955

Springbrook(e)

c1875

c1982

c1985

Springfield

c1860

1937

c1938

Spring Vale

c1865

?

1975

Stockbrook

1791

1869

1869

Stockfield

1862

1954

****

Sun

1861

1959

1986*

Swan

1875

1959

****

Textile

1882

1927

1996

United

1874

1959

1962

Vale

c1860

1959

1964*

Victoria

c1854

?

1973

Waverley

c1865

c1900

c1900

Wren

1901

1937

c1970

Notes

(a) A modern single-storey building, untypical of the traditional cotton industry.

(b) The Falcon Mill was Chadderton's only weaving shed. The Firwood Mill and the

Victoria Mill also had some looms on their premises.

(c) This small factory developed on the site of the ancient manorial corn mill, which had

been powered by the River Irk. It was not a typical cotton mill but was engaged in the

finishing processes of bleaching and dyeing.

 (d) This was another small enterprise and was engaged in the process of doubling.

 (e) Springbrook 'Works' was a major finishing factory built around the stream of that name.

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President : Rtd. Councillor Jim Greenwood.

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