Report - - Hartford Mill, Oldham - June 2019 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Hartford Mill, Oldham - June 2019

Terminal Decline

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Hartford mill was constructed in 1907 for the Hartford Mill Company Ltd and designed by Frederick Whittaker Dixon who was responsible for designing many mills around Oldham. The building was extended in 1920 and again in 1924. The mill is cast iron and steel framed, faced in red brick walls with concrete flooring and roofs. The engine house was built to contain a 1,500 hp Urmson & Tompson steam engine which provided power for the 120,000 spindles. The baroque style tower located in the north west corner contains the staircase but is now lacking is copper dome which can be seen on historical photos. Due to the decline of the cotton industry in Britain due to competition from overseas, following the second world war, production came to an end in 1959. Following the removal of the machinery and steam engine, the mill was used as a mail order warehouse by Littlewoods until 1992. The building was awarded grade 2 listed status in 1993 but since then the buildings condition has severely deteriorated and in 2018 permission was given for a complete demolition of the building. It would be nice if at least the tower and chimney could be retained and incorporated into a new development but I think the council would prefer it to be replaced by a load of bland shitbox homes or a fly-tipping waste ground.

The explore
Visited with prettyvacant71. I really wanted to see the building before it goes the same way as many of the great textile mills in the area and I think we managed to explore the building just in time. Demolition has already begun with much of the wooden floor pulled up, exposing many holes in the concrete below and the the majority of the single story bay demolished though at least many of the bricks have been stacked up ready for reuse. Although we visited on a weekday there was no one around and we were able to cover all of the building.


Two historical aerial photos of the mill dating from the 1930s and 40s when the area was dominated by huge cotton mills with their tall chimneys and rows of terraced housing for the workers packed in between.

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Looking down towards the engine house from the rope race

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The top floor is very photogenic with trees growing out of the floor and some good views over Oldham and it remaining mills

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Looking over the roof of the engine house with Chadderton Mill visible in the background with its chimney breaking the horizon and Nile Mill to the left

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The well worn stone staircase in the tower

Engine house
Often missed out by people for some reason, but its by far the best bit with lovely art nouveau tiling and still containing its origional gantry crane

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External view of the engine house

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Boiler house
The boiler house unusually still contains three of its original four Lancashire boilers, later converted to water tanks and given a thick coating of asbestos. Early reports show the boilers bricked in but it was still good to see them

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Chimney with boiler house below

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Thanks for looking

The Lone Ranger

Safety is paramount!
Staff member
Interesting to see how far (or not) the demolition has gone, I've meant to pop down and see for myself.

It may be there a bit longer as I've heard it's now been classed as a summer roost for bats so demolition has been suspended until Autumn. There are some notifications of road closures been posted in the area, so they may still be allowed to work in some areas.


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Lovely mate. Great report. Had a nosey in here myself the other day. I think the engine house has been missed in a lot of reports because it had been sealed up for a few years. Im guessing the demo team had opened it up. Deffo worth seeing before it goes for those who haven't. There are caravans being lived in on site though, so keep an eye open.

Baggy trousers

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Great set of photos that, despite being absolutely knackered it's well worth a trip even just for the engine house itself. Good report that and thanks for posting.


28DL Member
28DL Member
Is this still standing, use to live facing this place 12 years ago. Might have to pop up if you can still get inside.

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
That old photo shows how the shell hasn't changed. Love comparisons. Fab shots and fantastic history. Some seriously expensive metals used on that build. Loved it:cool::thumb

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