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Report - Fernhurst mill, Chadderton 01/11.

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by bungle666, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. bungle666

    bungle666 ....king of snake........
    28DL Full Member

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    Fernhurst mill has been somewhat of a bogey site for me, years of it looking derelict and empty when it wasn't, combined with it finally being empty AND explorable, then suffering a bout of pikie interruptus have all added to the lure of this place! as a mill it looks fairly standard, and not terribly big. That is until you get inside, and realise this place is split over 7 floors, forming a MASSIVE space steeped in history, surviving as a local landmark for 105 years.

    The mill itself was constructed in 1905 by the architect A H Stott and Sons. The width of a mill was determined by the size of its spinning mules, and by the time this mill was built they were at least 134 feet wide. This made them much more efficient than the 99 foot mules from the 1860's. However, the wider floors meant there was a greater need for internal light, and so for bigger windows. Luckily this was made possible by the advent of steel beams rather than the brick arches previously used in their construction. Fernhurst is a good example of a state of the art mill using the latest technology of the time, and characterised by its expanse of large flat topped windows.

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    A H Stott and Sons also incorporated many common design features into the construction of the 24 mills the firm constructed, Embracing the flamboyant architecture of the time. Considerable attention was given to the water tower that would usually advertise the name of the mill, or when the water tower was too elaborate, on the parapet of the main mill block. They used pitched roofs shielded by parapets. Stott and Son favoured Byzantine style water towers, the use of horizontal bands of yellow brick above the windows, and terracotta ornamentation. Their Examples are the Goyt Mill, Marple (1905), Broadstone No.1 Mill, Reddish (1904) and Coppull Ring Mill (1905) that had identical water tower, Fernhurst Mill, Chadderton (1905), Butt's Mill, Leigh (1907), Pear Mill, Stockport (1907) and Ram Mill, Chadderton (1907).

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    Fernhurst mill was equipped with a steam engine mounted in own transverse engine house, the engine itself was a 1600hp inverted triple expansion engine, built by Browett and Lindley of Patricroft. it must have been a sizeable engine having a 24" high pressure cylinder, 36" intermediary pressure cylinder and a 50" low pressure cylinder giving a 4' stroke. it was equipped with corliss valves and an air pump driven from the low pressure cross head. Running on steam pressure of 160psi, it also had a 22 ft flywheel fitted with 40 ropes to drive the various mill floors. This engine was 1 of only 3 large cotton mill engines ever built by browetts.

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    The mill was to cease cotton production in 1964, after 59 years of production, and im assuming this is when the engine was scrapped and the chimney lowered to the stump that we see today. the mill stood derelict for sometime, until a new use was found for the building by a firm called constellation luggage, with this the mill was re-named to "pin mill" and for the last 20 years that I can remember, has been in use manufacturing suitcases and bags.

    sadly this use has come to an end, and the mill is earmarked for demolition after 105 years of service, this makes me very sad and end even more determined to explore another of Stotts masterpieces, today however my wish was granted, and she didn't disappoint!

    Visited with Ojay and Thenewmendoza.

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    fernhurst mill tower, 1981... very kindly sent to me by a "fan" via e-mail!

    thankyou to that person, i appreciate it!

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    A superb day, really! the engine house is DIVINE! anyhow shouts to Ojay & TNM, good day chaps, thanks!

    B..​
     
    #1 bungle666, Jan 7, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 9, 2011

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