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Report - Kearns Mill - Cowpe, Rossendale - June 2013

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by FocusOnScott, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. FocusOnScott

    FocusOnScott 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    Hi there guys!

    A trip to Kearns mill in rossendale...not much to see here but it is quite a big site and worth a wander. I Spent quite a lot of time here as access is bad and some parts seem unsafe. It is soon to be redeveloped as a selection of 4 & 5 bedroom luxury homes. I don't think this site has been visited often on here which is why I wanted to give it a go. Anyway...on to the history bit:

    This was the only mill still standing in the district which has a history dating back to the 18th century.

    The business was established by James Livesey for finishing wool products from handlooms, and the mill was one of the few in the woollen trade to remain so throughout the last century.
    James Ashworth and his brother Richard married two of James Livesey’s daughters. and by 1828 Richard Ashworth was partner of his father-in-law, having already started business in 1814 at Holt Mill in partnership with David Ashworth.

    By Around 1830 steam power was introduced, and the work in nearby cottages ended. At the same time the mill was extended and business grew. The raw wool was obtained from Rochdale, and they began to market the finished product independently in Ireland, and as far afield as South America. However only eight years after the improvements there was a disastrous flood. By this time James Livesey had died, and the mill was run solely by Richard Ashworth — ‘Owd Dicky’. He ran the mill very successfully for over 40 years. and when he died in 1874 his son, Edward, took over the business at Cowpe and Holt Mills. Only two years later a leakage of gas as Cowpe Mill was being lit up started a fire which burnt the mill to the ground an estimated £20,000 worth of damage. This was one of the worst mill fires there has ever been in the district but the mill was immediately rebuilt, and the present mill dates from that year.

    The business was continued by Edward Ashworth until 1897, when the mill, with land and water rights, was sold to Bacup Corporation for the construction of a reservoir, largely at the instigation of Henry Maden. Nevertheless the mill stayed in the textile trade, and has been run for most of the present century by Kearns, a firm specialising in dyeing.

    The mill is now closed and was bought by Hurstwood in 2004 with plans to build apartments within the existing buildings. Unfortunately Hurstwood went under and work was halted and it has been that way ever since. More recently Skipton properties have purchased the site and plan to build the new homes as mentioned at the start.


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    Cowpe Mills, Cowpe Road, Cowpe, Rossendale | Flickr - Photo Sharing! Thanks to Lady Wulfrun for the last image


    Thanks for looking and I hope you enjoyed the Rock, paper, scissors joke I threw in there!

    Cheers
     
    #1 FocusOnScott, Jun 30, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013

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