Industrial Heritage - A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of Whitworth

Industrial Heritage - A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of Whitworth

Full title: Industrial Heritage - A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of Whitworth (including Broadley, Facit, Millgate and Shawforth), by Mike Rothwell

Published by Bridgestone Press in 2008, 64 pages. A4 size booklet (N5911)

From the introduction: This booklet deals with the Whitworth Valley and includes settlements at Shawforth, Millgate and Facit. A number of sites just beyond the present boundary of Rossendale, particularly in Healey Dell, are also covered.

Whitworth's administrative history is complicated, and boundaries have changed a number of times. Originally, the area was part of Spotland, an extensive township which included Brandwood in Bacup. A local board of health was established in 1874, and survived until the formation of Whitworth Urban District Council twenty years later. The new wards comprised Shawforth, Facit, Whitworth and Healey. A further local government reorganisation of 1974 saw Whitworth become part of the Borough of Rossendale, although some autonomy was preserved by the formation of the present town council. Whitworth is a mainly linear township in the valley of the Spodden and its tributaries. This river system was a central factor in the area's early industrial development and sixteen water powered sites are known to have operated in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Most were associated with textiles, initially with wool, but subsequently with cotton. The latter industry was principally responsible for Whitworth's nineteenth century urban growth, and housing was linked to many mills. Back to back dwellings were a typical feature of these developments.

Although textile production was the major employer of Whitworth, quarrying and coal mining were important before the First World War. Stone extraction was especially well established and stone from the area was used for buildings throughout England.

With the exception of making textile accessories such as pickers and shuttles, few other trades operated in the district. Some engineering was introduced in the twentieth century, but this was mainly in old cotton mills. The population of Whitworth probably reached its height in 1901 when it stood at just over 9500. Today it is around 8000. This survey follows the standard format of previous guides. A history of each site, including details of machinery, motive power, products and employment is followed by a description of the remaining buildings. Fieldwork was undertaken between 2005 and 2007. In most instances sites were visited at least twice, and all were photographed.
The slim booklet is illustrated throughout with several black and white photographs, line drawings and maps

Condition of the booklet is generally very good. The covers are clean and bright, the staple spine is tight and intact, and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound.
Condition New