History in Structure

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Crimble Mill: mill chimney

A Grade II Listed Building in North Heywood, Rochdale

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Latitude: 53.6011 / 53°36'4"N

Longitude: -2.2054 / 2°12'19"W

OS Eastings: 386507

OS Northings: 411637

OS Grid: SD865116

Mapcode National: GBR FV1S.BT

Mapcode Global: WHB8X.3R35

Plus Code: 9C5VJQ2V+CV

Entry Name: Crimble Mill: mill chimney

Listing Date: 2 August 2019

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1464917

Location: Rochdale, OL10

County: Rochdale

Electoral Ward/Division: North Heywood

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater Manchester


Mill chimney of early-C20 date.


Mill chimney, of early-C20 date.


PLAN: circular.

The tall, round, tapering chimneystack is built of red-brown brick with yellow brickwork at the base, lined with red brick to the interior. There is a small, metal door on the south side of the chimneystack.


The Crimble Mill site originated as a water-powered fulling mill, said to have been built in 1761 by the Kenyon family. In July 1822 this building was put up for auction following the death of John Kenyon. The highest bidder was Charles Stott, a cotton spinner and fustian manufacturer of Castleton in Rochdale and the building was released into his ownership in 1825. Shortly after the purchase Stott built a new water-powered cotton mill on the site of the old mill. The 1:10560 Ordnance Survey map surveyed in 1844 to 1847, published in 1851, shows this new mill without a chimney, the engine house, or the boiler house and warehouse subsequently attached to the south end.

In 1859 the Kenyons bought back the mill and leased it to a newly formed joint stock company, the Crimble Cotton Spinning Company Limited. An insurance record of 1859 indicates that steam power had been added to the mill and was used in combination with two water wheels, which were mentioned in the 1859 sales particulars. It is probable that the engine house and adjoining fire-proof warehouse were added to the south end of the mill in a single phase of construction, along with a chimney and a possible boiler house to the immediate east.

In 1924 a new power system was built for the mill, with a horizontal tandem extraction engine of 500hp made by J Musgrave & Son of Bolton, installed in a new, detached engine house to produce electricity and steam. The new engine house (now - 2019 - demolished) was built beside the river bank to the south to designs by Thomson and Brierley Ltd of Bury. The boiler house on the south-east side of the original chimney was extended and rebuilt and the original chimney was replaced with the present circular chimney.

In the 1930s further additions were made to the complex to enable Crimble Mill to take over the finishing of all woollen goods for James Kenyon and sons’ operations. During the Second World War, the mill supplied paper makers’ felt, duffle coating and felts used to seal bullet holes in aeroplanes’ petrol engines. After the Second World War further buildings were added to the complex.

In 1968 James Kenyon & Son Limited was sold to Albany Felt Company of Albany, New York. Two years later the site was taken over by Roeacre Dyeing and Spinning Company of Heywood (later Roeacre Dyeing and Felting Company). Roeacre Dyeing and Felting Company went into receivership in 2002 and closed. Much of the site has been vacant since then.

Reasons for Listing

The mill chimney, built in the early C20, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:
* as an increasingly rare survival of an extant mill chimney and a distinctive component of steam-powered mills.

Historic interest:
* this chimney demonstrates the on-going importance of steam power in mill complexes into the C20, replacing an earlier chimney built in the 1850s, which in turn was part of a new power transmission system which superseded water power used in the early-C19 mill.

Group value:
* the mill chimney has functional group value with the mill, engine house and fire-proof warehouse attached to its south gable wall and 1880s warehouse attached to its north gable wall.

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