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Building record MDR5829 - Lace Factory and Needle Mill, Belper Street (east side), Ilkeston

Type and Period (2)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

SK 466 413 Belper Street, Lace Factory. Three-storey, mid-19th century, brick lace factory with cast iron window frames in ornamented arched windows. (1) Between 1869 and 1871 Amos Tatham, lace manufacturer and needle maker, built a house and factory abutting the east side of Belper Street. By June 1877 the 'lace factory' on the west side of Belper Street (SMR 21624) was nearly complete - power being provided through a tunnel under the road. In 1884 the warehouse and offices abutting the street on the west side and a four-storey factory on the site of the former house were erected. Lace was made on warp machines constructed in Tatham's own workshops, while the machinery building side manufactured all types of needles, as well as guides, hooks, Levers points and carriage springs, needles and shuttles for embroidery machines, and bobbins and carriages for twist machines. The buildings on Belper Street remained in the ownership of Tathams until 1944, although part of the premises was tenanted from the 1920s. In 1944 the lace makers, Frank and Charles Mason took possession of the factory on the east side of the road. They had Levers machines in Belper Street from the 1920s. After the Second World War, Masons was one of the first Levers makers to realise the potential of the multi-bar raschel warp lace machine and from 1957 the firm invested heavily in this type of machinery, as well as retaining its plant of Levers machines. (2) The factory is still in use in 2001 by Masons, lace manufacturers. (3) Mason's Lace Factory, Belper Street. 19th century lace factory containing 9 Levers machines by Jardine of Nottingham, c.1904. Also several types of warp knitting machines by Karl Mayer of West Germany. These are modern and include the latest computer models. (4) A needle mill, built for Amos Tatham. The factory was built in c.1870, the taller part to the left added in 1884. Both parts are built of red brick with gabled roofs. The earlier part is two storeys tall. Each storey has five cast iron casements with polychromatic heads. The later part is three storeys tall. Each storey contains eight cast iron casements beneath segmental heads. The mill appears in Palmer's Industrial Landscapes of the East Midlands. (5) In 2005 the building was occupied by Cluny Lace Company. (6) Belper Street Works, occupied by Cluny Lace Company [2015] dates to the late 19th century, and has undergone internal and external alteration in the 20th century. The street front buildings of the factory complex are built of red brick with white and blue brick decorative detailing and Welsh slate roof coverings. The factory complex comprises a stepped range to the street front, and a series of attached and detached ranges extending at right angles to the front range. The front range comprises three distinct sections. To the north is a tall three-storey building of eight bays, with stacked window openings set between slender pilaster-like piers. The ground-floor windows are taller than those to the upper two storeys, and all have multi-pane metal window frames. The frontage piers have small rectangular decorative panels of blue and white brick, and are capped by a deep cornice with white and blue brick decoration. The same pattern of windows and piers is repeated on the rear (east) elevation, but without the decorative detailing to the window openings and piers. To the south of the tall range are two, two-storey ranges that appear slightly later in date. The westernmost of these is comprised of four bays, with a wide arch-headed double doorway to the left and two ground-floor windows with shallow segmental-arched heads. Above are three first-floor windows. All the window openings incorporate multi-pane frames and white and blue brick decoration to the arched heads. Further south is a five-bay range with a modern doorway at the north end, and segmental arch-headed windows to both floors, again with white and blue brick work to the arch heads. Details of the rear elevations are not visible from the public highway. The ancillary ranges to the rear of the Belper Street frontage include a tall three-storey range and single-storey ranges with asymmetrical roof pitches, but no elevational detail could be seen from the public highway. No interior inspection of the factory complex has been made [in 2015], but a certain amount of interior structural detail of the tall northern range is illustrated on the company's web site. The roof is supported on wide collar and tie beam trusses, with angled struts between the collars and the principal rafters, and short strutted posts to the lower sections of the principal rafters. The trusses support three tiers of slender purlins. The floor structures are comprised of timber bridging beams and joists carried on parallel arcades of cast-iron columns, the heads of which clasp the bridging beams. The building was considered for listing in 2015, but internal access to the property was not possible at this time, and based on the exterior alone the building does not possess the architectural interest needed to warrant listing in the national context. Historic England would, should the opportunity arise, revisit this assessment on the basis of full access to the property. See report for more details. (7)

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D. 1986. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology - A Gazetteer of Sites. Part II - Borough of Erewash. p. 15.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Mason, S A. 1994. Nottingham Lace, 1760s-1950s. pp. 298-9.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Stroud, G. 2003. Extensive Urban Survey: Ilkeston. Archaeological Assessment Report. p. 22.
  • <4> Unpublished document: County Treasure Recording Form. 10(i).1, with photos.
  • <5> *Internet Web Site: Erewash Borough Council. List of buildings of local interest. LL/597.
  • <6> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D (ed.). 2005. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology: Gazetteer of Sites, Part II, Borough of Erewash (second edition). p. 16.
  • <7> Unpublished document: Historic England. 2015. The Belper Street Works: Advice report. Case Number 1405868.



Grid reference Centred SK 465 412 (100m by 100m)

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Record last edited

Nov 13 2017 4:36PM

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