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Axminster Building

A Grade II Listed Building in Halifax, Calderdale

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.7285 / 53°43'42"N

Longitude: -1.8644 / 1°51'51"W

OS Eastings: 409042

OS Northings: 425792

OS Grid: SE090257

Mapcode National: GBR HTFB.45

Mapcode Global: WHC9M.BKF1

Entry Name: Axminster Building

Listing Date: 1 March 2011

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1396579

English Heritage Legacy ID: 508239

Location: Calderdale, HX3

County: Calderdale

Electoral Ward/Division: Town

Built-Up Area: Halifax

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Halifax The Minster Church of St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Leeds

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Listing Text


679/0/10351 DEAN CLOUGH
01-MAR-11 (North,off)
AXMINSTER BUILDING

GV II
Former boiler house and drying house, later warehouse and offices, of 1853.

MATERIALS: hammer dressed stone with a hipped slate roof.

PLAN: the building is aligned north-south and is situated south of 'A' Mill and west of 'E' Mill. It has three storeys, the lowest floor being partially below ground level to the north, and an attic floor.

EXTERIOR: The east elevation has nine bays, with the upper two storeys having a similar pattern, from the south, of six tall rectangular windows, a bay with loading doors, then two more windows. The loading bay has a gable rising above the roof line and a hoist above the top door which is in the attic floor. The ground floor has a series of four arched windows and an arched entrance, with small arched openings in between, the southernmost bays being blank. The north elevation has at ground level a broad arched opening to the right with an entrance above, and two levels of altered openings to the left with traces of a second arch. Entrance doors on the second floor and attic level are accessed via an external metal staircase. The west elevation has a ground floor entrance to north of the centre, nine windows to the second floor and two to the first floor with evidence of others that have been blocked. The scars of the north light roof of the former weaving shed are visible on this elevation. The south elevation is blank.

INTERIOR: Internally the ground floor has a row of cast iron columns supported by heavy steel pillars and beams. The first floor also has cast iron columns and evidence of altered openings to the north. Timber ceiling beams are visible. The second floor has cast iron columns and has partly been partitioned by glazed timber screens into office spaces. The attic floor is open and has a roof structure of A trusses supported on iron columns to the sides. There are skylights along the apex of the roof.

HISTORY: The first mill erected on the Dean Clough site by the Crossley family was 'A' Mill, a spinning mill built in 1841. It replaced an earlier, water-powered mill, built in 1792 and leased by John Crossley senior from the Waterhouse family. This earlier mill, which stood on the site of the current 'E' Mill, was powered by means of a dam and goit to a weir on the Hebble Brook which runs through the Dean Clough site. 'A' Mill originally overlooked the mill dam, and was excavated out of the slope to the north, utilising the quarried stone in its building fabric. It was powered by an engine housed at the eastern end of the mill.

The construction of 'B' Mill followed soon after in 1844, adjoining 'A' Mill to the west and more than doubling the capacity of the works. The two mills were originally known as 'Centre Mills, 1 and 2', but renamed in 1855 with their current letters.

The next development on the site was the first power loom weaving sheds, which were located at the western end of the mill dam and completed by 1849. This was soon followed by a third spinning mill, 'C' Mill, to the east of the weaving shed and running south at a right angle to 'B' Mill. It was powered by an external engine and boiler house to the south-west.

The New Shed was constructed in 1853 and comprised a single storey weaving shed built in part over the former mill dam to the south of 'A' and 'B' Mills and east of 'C' Mill. It incorporated a four storey boiler house and drying house at its north-eastern end, and it is this building, now known as the Axminster Building, that survives. A plan of 1871 shows two boilers side by side in the building, with an external staircase to the north and an exit to a yard to the east. The drying floors would have been above the boilers, using the heat generated. By this time (1871) an extension of the weaving shed had been constructed to the east and by 1937 the boiler house had been enclosed on three sides by other buildings. The eastern shed and part of the New Shed were later used for Axminster carpet weaving, giving rise to the name of the surviving building.

The original New Shed was largely rebuilt after the Second World War after the collapse of the original roof. The boiler house was used for warehousing and an upper floor partitioned to form offices. Continuing development in the C20 finally ended in 1982 when carpet production ceased after a gradual run-down following the merger of John Crossley & Sons with Carpet Trade Holdings and the Carpet Trades Manufacturing Company of Kidderminster.

The weaving sheds were demolished in the early C21, leaving the former boiler house extant but unused.

SOURCES:
Fitzgerald, Dr. R, Historic Building Survey of the Axminster Shed, formerly New Shed at Dean Clough Mills, Halifax, (2002)

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION:
The Axminster Building, Dean Clough, Halifax, a former boiler house and drying house of 1853, later a warehouse, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Integrated complex: the building is an integral component of the carpet manufacturing at Dean Clough, a nationally important site
* Survival: it is a rare survival of this part of the process from the mid-C19, other evidence of which has been lost or rebuilt in the C20
* Features: it retains an external hoist and loading doors as evidence of its use as a warehouse, and arched entrances for two boilers as well as cast iron columns supporting the floors
* Group value: the building has group value with the other listed structures at Dean Clough

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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