Now the summer months are upon us, we’ve been able to enjoy a view we haven’t seen for a while – Tower Mill in all its glory.
The historic tower now looks as good as new after the scaffolding that surrounded it for more than 16 weeks has been dismantled.
And as it was being rebuilt workmen were able to get rid of the Buddleia, which over the years had grown roots so big, they wrapped right around the tower and penetrated the brick work.
The work on the tower is just part of the progress we’ve made in our restoration of the 130 year-old grade II listed mill.
Breathing new life into Tower Mill
We’re now nearly two thirds of the way through the process of replacing all of its 220 windows. And that’s no mean feat as each frame has been specially made to be ‘in-keeping’ with the mill’s heritage.
We’ve been fixing and replacing the exterior window sills and ledges and replacing airbricks with reclaimed Victorian ones, which have been painted in English Fine Cottons’ blue.
A three-month operation to build a new fire escape has just been completed in recent week and we’ve had new lightening conductors put on the roof.
Our regeneration plan
Breathing new life into the mill has been a major part of our mission to bring back cotton spinning to the North West. When we first bought the mill in 2013, we initially made a 10 year plan to regenerate it.
But as the establishment of English Fine Cottons gained momentum, we accelerated the programme to ensure the mill was in a good enough condition to house our state of the art cotton spinning machinery.
We’re making progress all the time, although there is still much to do. We’ll continue to work our way through replacing all the windows and next on the list is fitting out our ground floor reception area and show room.
A rich and varied history
All this TLC is just what Tower Mill needs after the wear and tear from it’s rich and varied history.
When it was built in the late 1800s, it was filled with 44,000 working mule spindles. Cotton spinning left the building in 1955 and after that, various industries came and went until Tower Mill became a star of the small screen as the backdrop for the popular BBC television drama Making Out (1989-1991).
In 1996, Tower Mill’s historical importance was recognised and it was given Grade II listed status by English Heritage.
And now, this amazing building has come full circle, as it’s home to cotton-spinning once again.