Former cotton wick mill and associated buildings. Late C18 with later extensions and alterations. Coursed squared stone and red brick with slate, pantile and stone-slate roofs. Irregular L plan adjacent to the river Goyt and then extending considerably southwards with a long range. Mainly three storeys but with 2- and 4-storey elements.
Amongst the earliest elements on the site is Building 7. 3 storeys. Stone ground floor, brick above with a slate roof. 6 bays, one bay being obscured by Building 11 and therefore a 5-window range visible of cross casements with small panes at first and second floors under brick lintels. 1st floor opening to centre right is a taking-in door. Ground floor has renewed casements and a double taking-in door. INTERIOR. 1st and 2nd floor have the very significant fire resistant construction (see below) of (later)(cast-iron) columns supporting plaster-protected timber beams carrying plated timber skewbacks and brick jack arches with longitudinal tie roods. Timber roof of queen-post russes. Original south end fireproof door on the 2nd floor.
To right angles of Building 7 is Building 11. c.1820-30. 3 storeys and attic. 4 bays with loading bay and staircase combined at join with building 7. A 4-window range of small-paned windows to 1st and 2nd floor and C20 windows to ground floor.Stone lintels. Similar small-paned windows to rear and gable end.
INTERIOR. Construction is of a significant form of 'slow burning construction' (see below) of massive timber beams with very unusual c.3" thick wide boards laid directly on the beams.
Behind Building 7 is a building constructed of massive masonry blocks to the ground floor with brick above. 4 storeys with water tower above. Early/mid C19. Windows have segmental or round arched heads and the massive of construction suggests this was originally an engine house. There is a C20 link to a mid C19 building perhaps extended eastwards later. This is sited along the river Hipper and has windows overlooking it. Linked to this building is another building probably C19 in origin which has been altered to the south in the C20 perhaps during the interwar period. To the east is linked a single-storey building in red brick with a roof of heavy grey slates. This links eastwards to Building 2 of L plan and of ashlar to ground floor and brick above. The ground floor is early/mid C19 and the upper 1920 (datestone). To east is sited a probably late C18 2-storey building of coursed dressed stone to ground floor and brick above.
Southwards from the southern end of Building 7 is Building 8. Pre 1831. Red brick with pantile roof. 3 storeys. This was built as an extension to Building 7 and stands over the waterway know as the Goyt and possibly replaced a water-wheel house.
To the south is Building 9. Pre 1831. Red brick with slate/tile roof. Small-paned windows.
INTERIOR. Roof of 13 king post trusses with pegged purlins. Timber beams supported by cast-iron columns.
This mill complex is of outstanding interest because of the probably unique and very significant form of construction of two core buildings but also because of the survival of so much of a large complex which has evolved over a long period. The the 1st and 2nd floors of building 7 have the same fire-resistant construction as that first employed in Jedediah Strutt's Milford Warehouse of 1792/3 (demolished), one of the first factories with fireproof construction in the world. They are survivals of a proto-fireproofing technique which by 1796 had been further improved by the substitution of cast-iron for the vulnerable timber beams. This is likely to be the only surviving example of such construction. Smiths Foundry, 1/2 mile downstream of the Walton Works, were major suppliers of cast-iron components to the Strutts and it is highly likely that the use here arises from that relationship.
Building 10 employs a form of 'slow burning construction' which became the usual form of construction in American textile mills from about 1820 until their replacement by steel-framed buildings and only 2 such other mills in England are known to employ this form of construction.
The 2 buildings are of outstanding significance for their employment of these early fireproofing techniques and the whole, with its long evolution which also contains elements of great interest, shares in this overall importance.
Arkwright Society Report 2003.
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