Restoring Tower Mill to its former glory is a major part of our mission to bring back cotton spinning to the North West. When we purchased the Grade II listed building back in 2013, we embarked on a 10-year programme to breathe life back into it. However, the establishment of English Fine Cottons has gained momentum and we’ve accelerated the work to ensure the mill is ‘fit for purpose’ as soon as possible.
Years of neglect has taken its toll and it’s been a painstaking process, and although it’s likely to take a few more years to complete the restoration, the mill is already coming back to life.
So far, we’re more than a third of the way through the process of replacing all of the 220 windows. They cost around £1,000 each and are specially made to be ‘in keeping’ with the mill’s heritage. We’ve glazed and fitted the windows ourselves and each frame is bespoke.
We’ve carried out extensive landscaping work to tackle the overgrowth and create a car park, and made replacement railings to match the ones that would have originally surrounded the building.
And we’ve moulded our own ‘sandstone’ lintels for the walls.
One of the biggest challenges is to rid the mill of all the Buddleia, which during years of neglect, has penetrated the brickwork. Some of the plant’s roots are so big, they wind right the way around and across the inside of the tower.
There’s still lots to do – finishing the windows, re-pointing the tower and much more. But we’re delighted with the progress so far and confident that we’ll achieve the results we want – which is for the 130-year-old Tower Mill to look like this in a few years time…
You can see our vision for the mill in more detail via this 3D simulation of how it could look.