Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Wigan Mill

Lancashire was famous for its mills. Now, the very few that haven't been demolished are either rotting or have been converted into fancy apartments. Rylands Mill is one of the unlucky decaying mills.

History - In 1819, Rylands & Sons were established in Wigan, manufacturing ginghams, calicoes and linens. The company quickly grew and by 1823 had opened a warehouse in Manchester, which was followed by a dye and bleaching works in Wigan. Valuable seams of coal were afterwards discovered under these properties, which proved a great source of wealth to the Rylands family.

                                 Old photographs from http://www.wiganworld.co.uk/

From 1847, John Rylands became the sole proprietor of the company after the death of his father and retirement of his brothers. Rylands Mill was built in 1866 and by 1873 the company had become the largest textile manufacturing concern in Britain. Rylands Mill was an important employer for the local population until the demise of the textile industry took its toll nationwide. When the mill closed, it was taken over by a mail order company. In 1985 it became an annexe to Wigan Technical College and was known as the Pagefield Building until its closure in 2007.  Its biggest claim to fame was the fact that the mill was the most expensive around at the time it was built.

The mill is predictably thoroughly trashed. It has a rather fabulous chimney.

There is plenty of evidence of the building's time as a college building. This part of the building must have been quite a feature before it was trashed and set on fire.

Inside the building are the usual supporting columns, debris and peeling paint.

It's quite a large site. Lots of evidence of fire damage in many areas. Pretty much roof-less in many places.

I do like a bit of peeling paint! There's plenty of it here.

I wonder what the future holds for Rylands Mill?

I think this graffiti sums it all up in one word . . . I'm not hopeful that any of it will survive. I do hope that at the very least the wonderful chimney is preserved for posterity. Our proud British heritage and history that developers and councils seem to care nothing for. Sad . . .

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