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Grane Mill, Haslingden including boundary walls and north yard

A Grade II* Listed Building in Haslingden, Lancashire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.7018 / 53°42'6"N

Longitude: -2.3195 / 2°19'10"W

OS Eastings: 379002

OS Northings: 422869

OS Grid: SD790228

Mapcode National: GBR DT7M.MQ

Mapcode Global: WH97B.B6QY

Plus Code: 9C5VPM2J+P5

Entry Name: Grane Mill, Haslingden including boundary walls and north yard

Listing Date: 21 June 2016

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1429217

Location: Rossendale, Lancashire, BB4

County: Lancashire

Electoral Ward/Division: Greenfield

Built-Up Area: Haslingden

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire

Church of England Parish: Laneside St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Blackburn

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Summary


Cotton weaving mill of 1906 by engineers SS Stott and Co, extended in 1913, with mid-C20 alterations and partial demolition in the early C21.

Description

A cotton weaving mill of 1906 by the engineering company SS Stott and Co, extended in 1913, with late C20 alterations and partial demolition in the early C21.

MATERIALS: roughly-coursed buff sandstone with some limewash render, blue slate roofs and brick chimney.

PLAN: situated at the N end of Laneside Road, on an artificial plateau above the wooded valley of an unnamed brook, and surrounded to the N, E and S by later housing. The site is bounded by stone walls and entered at the NW corner and comprises a single-storey warehouse to the S with an office block attached to the N front, a two-storey extension to the office block, and to the E a boiler house with economiser house and chimney behind, and an engine house.

WAREHOUSE:
Exterior: unusually, the warehouse is in the same form as a weaving shed, with multi-span, saw-toothed, north-light roofs behind parapet walls. The rectangular structure comprises 6 x 4 bays. Externally, the walls are of roughly-coursed sandstone rubble, with rock-faced quoins, and partially obscured by the remains of a grey whitewash render. A large loading bay door in the W elevation is inserted, having a modern I-section steel lintel above a roller shutter door, which are of little interest; the original loading entrance is at the eastern end of the N wall with cast-iron lintels and rock-faced quoins to rolled-edge reveals. A former privy, later converted to a porch with monolithic sandstone jambs to a full height door, abuts the N wall. The valley gutters of the roof project through the E wall of the warehouse into a courtyard between the warehouse and the power plant, where cast-iron downspouts are fitted into castings in the base of each gutter, leading into a subterranean drain. The S wall of the warehouse is a stone partition to the shaft alley and is obscured externally by the S wall of the shaft alley, which was also the N wall of the former weaving shed. This now forms the southern boundary to the site and is externally rendered.

Interior: internally, the warehouse retains much of its original early-C20 fabric, with rubble sandstone walls above a 3’ (0.91m) brick plinth and the central north/south bays defined by columns forming large squares of 22’ (6.71m) width on both axes, whilst the outer bays are of half the width at 11’ (3.36m) on their short axis. The multi-span roof is constructed without the use of trusses. The gentler-sloping southern pitches have simple timber rafters, the whole pitch being internally sealed with lath and plaster. The steeper northern pitch comprises a cast-iron frame of T-section rafters, bolted to the channel-section valley gutter. At their head, the cast-iron rafters are jowled, and bolted onto a horizontal iron rail below the timber ridge. Panels forming the plain timber glazing bands are bolted onto the rear of the cast-iron rafters, with many of the original narrow six-light panels surviving. Elsewhere these have either been replaced with panels containing four wider lights, set within galvanised steel frames, or been blocked with timber panelling. The valley gutters (with planking below) are bolted, via a splayed cast-iron foot in each bay, onto the top of horizontal I-section rolled steel beams, which run across the shed, and many of which bear rolling stamps of the Dorman Long company, Middlesbrough. The beams span the bay divisions and are butt-jointed with slightly decorative plates and a bolt in either beam above 5½” diameter, hollow cylindrical cast-iron columns. The end beams are socketed into the external walls on large sandstone pads.

The columns are simple in their design, with head-plates clasping the beam above and flat bolting-plates on the eastern side of the casting, for affixing hanger-plates. Castings for further line-shaft hangers are located on the soffit of the valley gutters at the mid-bay point (some with timber plank covers). One of the column hangers survives in-situ, and comprises a plain casting to a semi-circular cup, that grips a phosphorous bronze bearing around the line shaft. The extant hanger carries a slender line-shaft, with a drum adjacent to the S wall, supported by a larger, open-web, curved cast-iron hanger that clasps the bottom rail of the steel I-beam. This hanger carries the end of the shaft, which does not extend through the stone partition into the shaft alley but simply has a drum for drive. Cast-iron bearing boxes are fitted in the walls.

In the northern bay of the warehouse, the western three bays are partitioned from the rest of the interior by a full-height timber partition, probably original. A late partition divides the warehouse on the opposite side of the loading bay. At its eastern end, a wall of full brick thickness stands adjacent to the E wall of the office block to the N, and forming a 6’ (1.83m) wide passage inside the eastern stone wall of the warehouse. The passage has a doorway at its northern end, originally into an open courtyard, but latterly beneath an extension to the office block, and formed the primary workers’ access into the weaving shed from the main yard on the northern side of the complex. The passage also afforded access (via now-blocked doors) to a ‘Cloak Room’ on its western side, formed within the main warehouse. The southern part of the passage retains timber panelling at the lower level, possibly original. Unusually, the shaft alley has a glazing band in its northern light roof. The alley has bearing boxes within either wall.

OFFICE BLOCK:
Exterior: the walls are random-coursed sandstone blockwork, rock faced with ashlar dressings, below a pitched Welsh-slate roof with central and right gable stacks. All the windows are externally protected by wrought-iron railings. The N wall comprises four alternating wide and narrow bays, with the door in a narrow bay to the left, with a rubbed sandstone lintel and threshold step, and rock-faced quoins with dressed margins. The original timber panelled door is in place, below a shallow three-light flat fanlight. The two wider bays have large vertical windows with lintels and mullions and projecting chamfered sills. The narrow central bay has a single vertical window of similar style; all the windows are timber casements. On the right return, at the left is a smaller window, and in the centre of the gable is a square-section stone stack with simple, oversailing course below the crowned pot. The gable also houses an external clock, which may have replaced an original. The return of the façade has rock-faced quoins with rolled margins reverting to angled margins three courses from the wall head with an ogee-moulded transition.

On the left return of the front elevation, the lower quoins form the jamb of an open-fronted yard at ground floor level while at the upper level above a concrete sill beam in the north wall a first-floor extension fills the space between the original office and the boiler house. Both exposed elevations are of random coursed, rock-faced sandstone. The upper façade is fully-glazed with a continuous, rubbed sandstone lintel below the wall head, and projecting sandstone sill supporting rubbed jambs and two mullions, to form two large horizontal windows and one smaller one to the left. The slender, steel frames house casement windows, comprising panes of differing sizes, nine in the larger windows and five in the smaller one, in a broadly Art Deco style. The extension is carried on four longitudinal shuttered-concrete beams that carry transverse concrete rails.

The rear wall of the original office abuts the warehouse, but behind the first-floor extension, in the former courtyard between the warehouse and boiler house, a further rear extension is possibly contemporary, and comprises a brick-built room, of five-stretcher English Garden wall bond construction with a monopitch roof from the boiler house to the parapet of the warehouse. It has a small rectangular first-floor window in the S elevation, with sandstone lintel and bull-nosed brick sill, with a single-skin brick transverse wall below forming a ground-floor doorway at the eastern edge, again with sandstone lintel. To the left a full-brick thickness plinth continues southwards against the access passage to the W from this point, with a wall scar below the projecting ends of the valley gutters along the length of the wall, and a doorway into the passage has been inserted.

Interior: the doorway in the eastern bay of the original office leads to a short corridor (which retains its original sandstone flag floor) along the eastern edge of the office block that at its southern end afforded access into the offices to the right, and also ahead into the warehouse. The wall to the offices is glazed above a brick plinth, with four rows of panes and a hatch towards the northern end allowing workers to be paid from the clerk’s office. A gate across the corridor placed immediately to the S of the hatch controlled access. The ceiling of the corridor is decorated with a plaster cornice to the lath-and-plaster ceiling. The clerk’s office retains a similar moulded cornice and high ceiling, with painted plaster walls, picture rail and a fireplace in the western brick wall. A doorway in the SW corner affords access to a washroom and water closet in the narrow bay between the two offices, retaining decorative tiles to window-sill height. The board room in the western bay represents a remarkable, almost complete survival of an Edwardian mill office, and retains timber panelling to the S, W and N walls, to approximately 7' (2.1m) height. The gable-end panelling houses a fireplace with a fire surround that awaits (2016) refitting, whilst the E wall incorporates a full-length bureau below cupboards to the height of a moulded timber picture rail. The ceiling has a decorative painted cornice to embossed wallpaper and a central plaster ceiling rose complete with original light fitting, converted to an electrical supply from its original gas power. The central table is also apparently an original feature.

BOILER HOUSE:
Exterior: projecting into the northern yard slightly beyond the office to the W, the boiler house is of similar construction to the warehouse, with the remains of grey limewash render adhering to the stonework. The elevations forward of the taller engine-house have a coped parapet to a northern light, multi-span roof in a poor state of repair. The N elevation has two tall wide doorways with rebated cast-iron lintels, similar to those of the warehouse loading bay, with rock-faced quoins with pointed margins below a chamfered impost to each jamb. The quoins at either end are rolled to the height of the doorways, but above this are rock-faced alternating quoins. The doorways contain modern roller shutter doors of little interest. The left return running to the engine-house is blind. The rear elevation is obscured by the economiser house.

Interior: internally, the boiler house retains two 30' Lancashire boilers, with a charging platform on their northern side. Both boilers were built by Yates & Thom, Blackburn, with the first being installed during initial construction in 1907, but the latter not inserted until 1912, despite the structure clearly being designed to house two boilers. Both boilers survive intact, complete with steam and water pipes. The front wall of the boilers retains a white glazed brick facing, with a green-glazed course three courses from the top of the wall. The later boiler is fitted with an automatic stoker, manufactured by James Hodgkinson of Salford and fitted in the 1950s. There is an inserted doorway in the W wall, beneath the first-floor office extension. Patches of limewash adhere to the walls, suggesting that this represented the original wall finish. At the rear of the boilers, vertical iron sheet dampers survive in-situ, with counterweights slung from beams carried between the channel-section valley gutters of the roof. The roof is similar to that of the warehouse, although the narrow span of the boiler house did not require horizontal I-section beams or columns. To the rear the boiler house opens into the economiser house.

ECONOMISER HOUSE:
Exterior: to the rear of the boiler house, a two-storey, flat-roofed structure of sandstone rubble construction showing remains of whitewash render, but with a rubbed sandstone cornice to a cast-iron panelled water tank, and with rusticated rolled quoins to its south-western return, similar to those of the office block and boiler house. A short vertical window in the W wall, at the level of the top of the economiser is internally clinker-blocked, whilst a doorway with brick jambs has been inserted at the western end of the S wall. At its eastern end, a refractory-brick flue exits through the S wall of the building below a cast-iron lintel, and into the base of the chimney placed in the yard to the rear.

Interior: internally, the structure houses a brick-built economiser, built by Greens and Son in Wakefield in four-stretcher English Garden Wall bond. This appears intact, complete with heating tubes and dampers. It also retains a line shaft powering the dampers, originally powered by a rope from the rope-race, with a blocked bearing box in the adjacent wall suggesting that it was latterly converted to an electrical motor power supply.

CHIMNEY: the round chimney is of engineering-brick construction, in three-stretcher English Garden Wall bond, and with a slight taper. At c45m tall, it retains both its collar and oversailing crown, both of rolled terracotta, and has 24 iron bands above the roof height of the adjacent economiser house, with the name 'GRANE' painted towards the top on the northern side.

ENGINE HOUSE:
Exterior: adjacent to but set back from the boiler house. The principal N elevation has sandstone rubble showing through limewash render. A typical wide, tall central aperture, with a segmental arched head, is flanked by a pair of narrower, flat-headed windows at first-floor level. All have projecting rock-faced jambs with dressed margins, with a projecting dropped key to the central arch and chamfered projecting keys forming part of the rubbed sandstone flat lintels. The two flanking windows also have projecting dressed-sandstone sills, and retain 10-light timber frames, with most of the glass panes still intact. The central aperture has double panelled doors, flanked by blind panels, at engine-deck level, with a fan-light and large window above having Art Deco style glazing, with narrow panes around the perimeter and small square panes to each corner. At ground floor, a narrower central doorway affords access to the engine bed. This is recessed beneath a flagstone landing on an external flagstone quarter-turn stair, supported on wide dressed-sandstone block piers, and having an iron tube handrail with fluted cast-iron posts.

The left return elevation originally abutted the preparation block, but now forms the eastern boundary of the site, and is externally rendered. The rear elevation formerly abutted the weaving shed but now forms part of the southern boundary, and is rendered at ground floor, with a doorway, which afforded access from the weaving shed. The first floor and gable are limewash rendered with stone quoins and jambs to two rectangular first-floor twelve-pane fixed windows.

Interior: the engine hall has glazed brick elevations in five-stretcher English Garden Wall bond. A door in the W wall, with bull-nosed reveals and a flush rubbed sandstone lintel, affords access to the upper level of the adjacent boiler house. The lower level of the walls are of chestnut-brown glazed brick to a moulded terracotta glazed dado, and incorporate a cream band, three courses below the dado. Above, the walls are cream below a row of projecting chamfered sandstone corbels in the long walls. The wall is diminished in thickness by a full brick above, forming a pad for six horizontal I-section beams, with the two courses immediately below being picked out in chestnut glazed brick, which continues around the gables. The steel I-section beams would have been used during the installation and maintenance of the engine, and carry three further longitudinal beams which allowed for greater accuracy in the positioning of lifting gear, in the form of block-and-tackle chains, slung over the beams. The pitched roof of the engine house is lined internally with timber planks, with exposed rafters in the three central bays below the single purlin to each pitch, suggesting that the roof had glazing bands. The purlins are cleated onto seven king-post trusses, with angled braces placed from the jowled foot of each king post to the principal rafter below the purlin. The heads of the king posts are also jowled, and clasp the slender ridge board. The king post is jointed to the principal rafters with bolts, and a three-way plate, and all the tie-beam bolts are augmented with iron stirrups. The tie beams and principal rafters are carried on sandstone pads within the long walls.

The extant engine has been partially restored, and is a 500hp cross compound, horizontal Stott engine, built approximately 200m down Manchester Road at Laneside Foundry. It bears the name plate ‘Alice’, and retains high and low pressure cylinders, piston rods, and cranks to a 4.8m diameter timber shuttered flywheel. The western side of the flywheel incorporated a rim gear which could be powered by a very small cog on a barring or ‘donkey’ engine, used for firing the engine when cold, or for slow running during maintenance. This has been fitted with an electric starter motor, presently allowing the engine to be turned prior to the proposed refurbishment of the steam power plant. The flywheel has grooves for ropes, one of which still partially survives and drove a smaller grooved drum, placed to the S on the secondary-motion shaft, which ran in both directions into the shaft alley. A rope from the second drum would also have run back towards the flywheel, following the insertion of a rope-driven generator, built by Metropolitan Vickers of Manchester and Sheffield, with the adjacent switchgear box also extant. In the NW corner of the engine hall, adjacent to the entrance, is a small timber-partitioned office/storeroom, which was installed in the 1940s. There is a modern heating system* in the engine hall consisting of radiators, pipes and a stove.

BOUNDARY WALLS AND YARD:
The W wall of the former preparation block runs northwards from the left hand end of the engine house, now forming the eastern boundary to the site, and rendered externally. The courtyard elevation has a tall sandstone-coped parapet originally concealing the now-removed multi-span roof to the rear. It is of similar sandstone rubble construction to the warehouse but retains more of its limewash render. At the left there is a loading-bay entrance similar to the original warehouse loading bay, recently stone-blocked but retaining a cast-iron lintel and an ornate light fitting and bracket above, probably original. To the right of this is a narrow vertical two-light window with flush sandstone lintel and projecting sandstone sill, and wrought-iron grille, similar to that of the office windows. Further to the right is a doorway (again recently blocked with stone), with rock-faced quoins with dressed margins and a rubbed-sandstone lintel, and slightly above ground level and reached by a straight sandstone stair with an iron banister with fluted pilasters matching those of the engine house stair. This probably indicates that a raised floor surrounded the loading bay.

Returning forwards to the left is the northern boundary wall, comprising a high retaining wall to the gardens of houses to the N. It is of roughly-coursed sandstone block construction, with cocks-and-hens copings, and recessed pointing. This wall is slightly battered, and towards to the original wide gated entrance across the north-western angle of the site there is a rendered plinth against its lower level. The entrance has one surviving monolithic rock-faced gate post with pointed dressed margins, missing a finial, and a replacement gate*. The wall returns along Laneside Road at approximately six feet high, but after a short length the coping changes to flat sandstone flags. Further on the wall steps down and continues to the S to form part of the western boundary of the housing development, with a very short return to the E, with rock-faced quoins with dressed margins on the angle.

The yard to the north of the buildings retains its original sandstone setts which extend beyond the gateway to the edge of the highway, but the western yard has a modern concrete surface finish and is excluded.

* Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that the following aforementioned items are not of special architectural or historic interest: modern heating system in the engine hall consisting of radiators, pipes and a stove; site entrance gate.

History

Grane Mill was established in 1906 (as Longshoot Mill) as a purpose-built cotton-weaving mill by the Grane Manufacturing Company. The complex was designed by the neighbouring engineering firm of SS Stott & Co, which also supplied a 500hp cross-compound engine to power the mill. Initially, the mill housed 764 Lancashire looms, powered by overhead shafting, although capacity was increased to 1107 looms in 1913 (following installation in 1912 of the second boiler that was allowed for in the original design), and an automatic boiler-stoker added. The output from the mill included weaving printers, mulls, cambrics and fine cottons. A first-floor office, with a possible workshop on its southern side was added to the east of the original office prior to 1930. The western shaft alley was partly converted to form an air-raid shelter during World War II, when the mill employed over 340 people and was making (inter alia) balloon cloth. Additional office space was created in 1950 by building over the lobby entrance, and a canteen at the rear of the tape room was added around the same time. In the 1960s, the number of looms was reduced to 907. From c1970 a small part of the mill was used for brush making. Weaving ended in 1978, and the Grane Manufacturing Company went into liquidation. A large loading bay door with roller shutter has been inserted in the west elevation of the warehouse, and the attached privy had a doorway inserted, and latterly formed a porch providing the principal pedestrian access into the warehouse. The preparation block and weaving shed were largely demolished at the beginning of the C21 and replaced by a housing development.

The ownership of parts of the site housing the steam-power plant was transferred recently to the Heritage Trust for the North West, which is actively (2016) restoring the engine, boilers, economiser and their respective buildings.

Reasons for Listing

Grane Mill, a cotton weaving factory of 1906 with intact original steam power plant and well-preserved managerial and process buildings, is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

*Rarity: as an Edwardian cotton weaving factory retaining little-altered examples of all of the original types of building, making it the regional/national type-site;
*Survival: of the well-preserved managerial and process buildings as well as the intact original steam power plant comprising boiler house with boilers and economiser, engine house with in situ steam engine and complete chimney;
*Technological interest: for example in the late Stott steam engine, automatic stoker and wide column-span construction of the north-light shed;
*Design interest: in the reflection of the process flow in the plan-form arranged around a central power plant and including a discrete shaft race for the efficient transfer of power;
*Architectural quality: of the well-detailed stone buildings and the internal features, particularly those in the well-appointed office and boardroom.

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