Sunday, 11 July 2010

Three mills

The area around Britannia Bridge is the part of town which was once Bingley's principal industrial area. It was developed after 1870, which is quite late, suggesting that the Bradford area was beginning to run out of suitable sites and forcing mill owners to look further afield. This whole area was dominated by textile mills with wharfs onto the busy canal.

Looking south from the bridge, Britannia Mill was a large scale worsted factory; worsted being the name to identify a particular type and weight of woollen cloth and the yarn from which it is woven. The main feature of a worsted yarn is the straightness of the fibres and the way that they run parallel to each other, but the weaving of the yarn leads to a slightly rough textured final cloth which is very resilient; ideal for use in carpets, as well as garments and hosiery.

In 2004, most of Britannina Mill was demolished. The parts remaining include two three storey sheds and the former mill office, all of which have been developed into canal side apartments for sale or rent. Also remaining is the mill chimney which is visible for miles around and helps to retain the industrial character of the location.

The chimney can be seen in it's entirety here...

It consists of a square shaft (mirrored by the square upright on the Britannia bridge), tapering to a concave section topped by a square.

And this is the view looking north from the bridge...

...showing chimneys from two more mills.

The obvious one, centre of frame, is Stanley Mill, also a worsted wool factory. Built in the latter half of the 19th century, it is still occupied by a textile manufacturer. The canal wharf is gone , but many of the original buildings still remain, including the chimney, which is also square tapered, but topped by a rather neat pyramidal opening! 

The other chimney, to the right, belongs to Argyll Mills; one of the most complete mill buildings remaining in the area.


  1. Great shots of the mills and the chimneys. I'd love to see a close-up of the top of the Stanley Mill chimney. It's intriguing to read about.

    Thanks so much for voting for JM. It matters and you're a peach to do it for the kids.

  2. Such a slice of industrial and social history in this area. It's good that they didn't pull down all the buildings.

  3. Looks so pretty but has a less than pretty history. Thanks for the info on Waterloo Bridge. I'll be way more positive about it in the future.

  4. I enjoy looking at old building architecture and structures! It amazes me how these were constructed back in their day. I do love the view from the north of the bridge.

    Blessings & Aloha!
    thank you for stopping by...The blog world has been amazing to me-that we can see so many parts of the world through each others eyes and experiences. :o) Thank you so much for sharing your part of the world :o)