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Report - Radford Mill (Viyella Works), Nottingham, August 2010

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by layz, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. layz

    layz Conquistador d'Wolverton
    28DL Full Member

    Sep 21, 2008
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    Evening Guys,


    This was quite a landmark explore for me as not only was it the 50th site I’ve explored, but Radford Mill has been an object of my desire for a long time and it was great to finally crack it. I was also able to access the ‘front part’; however the tower is quite sealed.

    Sadly there is little left inside from the orriginal work, however this explore for me was more of a moral victory than an 'epic site'.


    History on this place, like many mills is rather patchy, however my understanding from various tips to the library is that a mill has existed on the site for the best part of 150years. The site was bought by William Hollins in the 1890 who occupied the existing buildings and set up a spinning Mill. The mill can be described as having 3 parts:The oldest middle part, built before 1860s, the later rear extension built in the 1890s and the 'newest' front part built in the 1900s. There is evidence of the earlier works (Middle part, which I believe was a metal works) on the site, including a mid 1850s-60s central building constructed with bricks, few iron columns and solid wooden beams with a spiral staircase.

    In the early 1900s the mill was expanded greatly with the addition of the ‘front building’ which was constructed in red terracotta tiles, with bands of yellow and carved stone embellishments by the same architect who designed Goyt Mill in Marple and Coppull Mill in Chorley. I believe the architects were Joseph Stott and Son, however this information is based solely upon looks. Joseph Stott and Son were responsible for numerous very large cotton mills, mainly around Manchester between the 1890s and 1900s. Radford Mill could possible be the younger smaller sister of many of these famous mills.

    The Spinning works finished in 1959, and the site was destined to be sold off for housing. However Viyella decided to cling onto the site using it as a small scale dying works finally coming to an end in the 60s. Like most mills in Nottingham around that time it was broken up into smaller firms, one of which still occupies the ground and upper floors today.
    The works were once again destined to become housing/apartments in 2003, but it now appears the scheme has been put on hold.

    Company History

    Hollins also ran the mill in Pleasley on a rather unusually named road ‘Via Gellia’ now the A5012 near Matlock, about 20miles away. Via-Gellia later gave its name to the famous soft fabric ‘Viyella’ which Hollins & Co patented in 1893. Later Viyella was also to become the company name in 1961 after a merger. Viyella has faded into obscurity now, and in 2009 went into administration, finally being bought out by Austin Reed.

    Radford Mill:

    Site Plan

    Goyt Mill in Marple, by the same architect:

    Viyella still written on the tower:

    The Coat-of-Arms above the door:

    Very little left inside the 1900s extension:

    The view of the tower, just to prove I was in the front part ;):



    Tonight Matthew...

    The main staircase from the rear portion of the mill, built in the last half of the C19th to accommodate Hollins' first spinning works:

    Evidence of a later Architects/Engineers office in the 1970s, I believe this room is built in the former rope-race

    The Spiral staircase, in the oldest (middle) part of the mill, originally a metal works before the 1890s



    Finally in the Women's...never seen this 'French Style' loo in the UK before:

    #1 layz, Aug 8, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2010

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