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Industrial Revolution

A selection of images of industrial buildings dating from the period 1750 - 1900. They show examples of the many different types of industries that were involved, from all over England and illustrate how industry changed over this period.



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Derwentcote Steel Furnace, Consett, Durham
Copyright English Heritage Photo Library

Derwentcote Steel Furnace, Consett, Durham

The furnace appears to have been constructed around the year 1733 and remained in use until 1875. In its latter years there was a shift to crucible steel production. Excavations also revealed deposits of iron and steel slag within the southern building suggesting that it may have been used for forging or smithing. This property is now in the care of English Heritage (2010).Read more. Also find out more about forges and other metal working industries in our Teachers' Kit - Forges and Foundries.

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Old Brass Mill, the Shallows, Saltford, Bath and North East Somerset
Lorna Freeman. Source English Heritage.NMR

Old Brass Mill, the Shallows, Saltford, Bath and North East Somerset

A former brass mill that was built in the 18th century and was working until 1924. The brass industry was very important in this area. It began in the early years of the industrial revolution with 2 brass mills that were established by Abraham Darby of Ironbridge. The Saltford mill is an important survivor of this industry. Read official list description.

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Low Mill, Addingham, West Yorkshire
Crown copyright. Historic England Archive

Low Mill, Addingham, West Yorkshire

A water powered textile mill of 1787 built as a block with five attached cottages the third storey of which was possibly used as warehousing. A newer, early 19th-century mill is nearby. Some of the original workers' cottages have survived. Find out more about windmills and watermills in our Teachers' Kit - Mills.

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Bedlam Furnace, Waterloo Street, Ironbridge, Shropshire
English Heritage.NMR

Bedlam Furnace, Waterloo Street, Ironbridge, Shropshire

In 1778 each part of the famous Iron Bridge was individually cast for Abraham Darby at the Bedlam Furnace, less than 500 yards from the bridge. The remains of this furnace illustrates how iron was produced. Ironstone (ore) was tipped into the top of the furnace along with limestone. It was heated in the furnace with fuel (coal and later coke) to force the iron from the stone. It was tapped off at the bottom as a liquid and run off into moulds to harden.

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Witney Mill, Witney, Oxfordshire
Mr Alistair F Nisbet. Source English Heritage.NMR

Witney Mill, Witney, Oxfordshire

This mill dates to c1820. The mill was water powered. It combined the fulling, weaving and spinning processes under one roof. It is the earliest surviving industrial building of Richard Early and Sons Ltd. The Early family had blanket mills in Witney for much of the 19th and 20th centuries. Charles Early and Company produced blankets for the Navy at Witney Mill during WW2. Find out more about windmills and watermills in our Teachers' Kit - Mills.

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House Mill, West Ham, Greater London
Mr Anthony Rau. Source English Heritage.NMR

House Mill, West Ham, Greater London

House Mill dates back to 1776 and stands on Three Mills Island. Mills were recorded along the River Lea in the Domesday Book. There were mills on this site belonging to the Abbey of Stratford Langthorne until the Reformation. The mills have had many different uses. They were originally flour mills. They were bought by Huguenots in 1727 and used for distilling gin as well. They were powered by the tide going in and out. By the early 19th century they had 7 waterwheels and drove 18 pairs of millstones. House Mill was last used in the 1940s. It later became a museum and information centre for the River Lea Tidal Mill Trust. All the buildings were restored in the 1990s and much of the site was converted into film studios. Read official list description. Find out more about windmills and watermills in our Teachers' Kit - Mills.

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Underbank Dye Works, Stansfield, Blackshaw, West Yorkshire
Reproduced by permission of English Heritage.NMR

Underbank Dye Works, Stansfield, Blackshaw, West Yorkshire

This mill was originally known as Jumble Hole Mill. It was first mentioned in 1788. Between 1815 and 1826 it was owned by Christopher Rawden who owned several mills in the locality. On 11th August 1899 the mill was destroyed by fire. This photograph could have been taken after the fire. The mill was altered and extended during the 19th and 20th century. The 1947 Yorkshire textile Industry directory has an entry for Jumble Hole Mill: 'Cocker and Co (1929) Ltd. (bleaching, dyeing and finishing of blacks and colours; rayons; crepes; cashmeres; brocades; muslins) Cockers closed in the 1950s, but the mill was later used for silk dyeing.

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Nailers Shop at No 8 Joseph Street, Belper, Derbyshire
Mr Roy Millett AFIAP, APAGB. Source English Heritage.NMR

Nailers Shop at No 8 Joseph Street, Belper, Derbyshire

An early 19th century nailer's workshop. This building is a rare survival of this once important industry in Belper. Hand made nails were generally made in small workshops next to the workers houses. This is known as a 'cottage industry'. Long iron rods were sold to the nailers by middle men called nail masters and made into nails by the nailer. The nails were then sold back to the master for a small amount of money per nail made. He then sold them on and made a large profit. This system lasted until machine made nails were introduced in the early 20th century. The nickname of Belper Town FC is the 'Nailers'. Read official list description.

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Stocking Frame Knitters Workshop, Town Street, Holbrook, Derbyshire
Mr Peter Holt FRPS. Source English Heritage.NMR

Stocking Frame Knitters Workshop, Town Street, Holbrook, Derbyshire

This Stocking Frame Knitters Workshop is at the back of 2 houses. The outbuilding with its stocking workshop above is now part of a shop. It was built in the 18th century and extended upwards in the 19th century. Frame work knitting was an industry that started off as a 'cottage industry' in houses or workshops like this and then moved into factories where textiles were made on a larger scale by machines that were driven by engines. In some areas a tradition of out working continued where the factories would deliver part-made goods to houses or small workshops for finishing off. Read official list description.

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106-112 Nottingham Road, Stapleford, Nottinghamshire
Mr John Lewis. Source English Heritage.NMR

106-112 Nottingham Road, Stapleford, Nottinghamshire

These houses were built in the early 1800s. They were originally 4 lace makers' cottages. The distinctive windows on the top floor are a sign that it was used by lace or other textile workers. Windows were very expensive at this time and large windows like this were only put into houses where a large amount of light was needed because people were working. Lace making was a major industry in Nottinghamshire at this time. Read official list description.

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Goonvean China Clay Pit, Cornwall
Crown copyright. Historic England Archive

Goonvean China Clay Pit, Cornwall

This site was first used in about 1790 for mining clay for the pottery industry and remains active today. The 19th-century engine house and its replacement of 1910 are both still standing. They look tiny surrounded by the large area scarred by the mining activities.

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Stone Bleaching Baths, Hodge Lane, Longdendale, Greater Manchester
Mr Brian Lomas. Source English Heritage.NMR

Stone Bleaching Baths, Hodge Lane, Longdendale, Greater Manchester

These large stone vats or baths were part of the Hodge textile works. They date from the late 1700s and are probably the earliest known textile site in Tameside. Each one of the baths is made from giant stone slabs joined together by iron stays. They are about six feet deep. Grey cloth would have been bleached with lime to make it white, and then laid out in the fields to dry. There are 3 groups of baths. They are terraced into the hillside and arranged in rows on either side of a deep central tunnel which is covered by stone slabs in places and earth in others. Of the 3 groups one has 30 baths; one of 6 or more and one of 14 or more. Read official list description.

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Former Lace Factory, Chard Town, Somerset
Mr Richard Bland. Source English Heritage.NMR

Former Lace Factory, Chard Town, Somerset

These building were formerly a lace factory belonging to Gifford Fox and Company Limited. They date from around 1820-30 and were constructed to be fireproof. The lace or plain net trade was established here after 1820 by manufacturers who had fled from the Luddite resistance they had faced in the Midlands. In 1848, on the 4th floor of the mill, John Stringfellow [1799-1883] achieved the first sustained powered flight with a 10-foot wingspan model aeroplane powered by a light-weight steam engine. The flight was repeated in a marquee in Cremorna Gardens, London, later in 1848. The model aeroplane and the steam engine were designed and built by Stringfellow, probably in his workshops behind his house, No.121 High Street. Stringfellow was a bobbin and carriage maker from Nottingham. Read official list description.

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Tinman's Row, Cobham, Surrey
Mr Christopher Fransella ARPS. Source English Heri

Tinman's Row, Cobham, Surrey

This row of 8 ironworkers' cottages were built in c1803. They were built for Alexander Raby of Cobham Park. He was the owner of Downside Mill. The original plan of No's 1-7 was a living room and scullery on the ground floor, and a bedroom and landing above. Downside Mill may have produced tin plate, hence the name of this row which was originally called 'Tin Row'. Read official list description.

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Pump Engine House, South Crofty Mine, Station Road, Carn Brea, Cornwall
Mr Ivor Corkell. Source English Heritage.NMR

Pump Engine House, South Crofty Mine, Station Road, Carn Brea, Cornwall

This engine house held the pump for Robinson's shaft at the South Crofty Tin Mine. It dates from 1903 and was built around the engine, which is dated 1854, to protect it. The 80-inch cylinder Cornish beam engine is still inside. It was used to pump water from the mine. The beam can be seen sticking out from the side of the engine house where it was attached to the pump. The engine came from Tregurtha Downs Mine near Marazion. It has not been used since 1955 but is still in good condition. Engine houses similar to this one were a common site during the industrial revolution. Read official list description.

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Macclesfield, Cheshire
English Heritage.NMR

Macclesfield, Cheshire

A view across the town from the east end of the parish church. Some of Macclesfield's textile mills can be seen. They were still working at this time. The town became a centre for the textile industry as it had good road and rail links which made it cheap to get raw materials to the mills and distribute products. A large number of mills were involved in the silk trade in the 18th and early 19th century while there was a ban on continental imports. When this was lifted in the mid 19th century many of the town's silk mills were bankrupted.

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Limekiln, Stanhope, Durham
Mr Bob Cottrell ARPS AFIAP DPAGB. Source English Heritage.NMR

Limekiln, Stanhope, Durham

This limekiln lies west of Fine Burn Quarry and probably dates from the early 19th century. It is built into the side of a hill so that the limestone (from the quarry) and fuel can be easily transported to the top of the kilns for burning. The lime was taken out from the bottom. Lime was used in industrial products such as cement and in whitewash. It was also used in farming to prepare soil for growing crops. Limekilns similar to these were very common and found all over the country. Read official list description.

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Monument to victims of a mill fire at Colne Bridge, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Mr Richard Turner. Source English Heritage.NMR

Monument to victims of a mill fire at Colne Bridge, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Monument at the Church of St. John "To commemorate the dreadful fate of seventeen children who fell unhappy victims to a raging fire at Mr. Atkinson's factory, Colne Bridge. Feb. 14th 1818. This monument was erected by voluntary contribution MDCCCXXI." (1821). On another side are the names and ages of those who died. All girls, aged from 9 to 18 years. Read official list description.

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St Vincent's Works, Silverthorne Lane, St Philip, Bristol
Mr Ian Garman. Source English Heritage.NMR

St Vincent's Works, Silverthorne Lane, St Philip, Bristol

John Lysaght established his iron working business at St Vincent's Works, Bristol and started making corrugated iron in 1857. The offices were built around 1891 in Gothic style. The company went on to make corrugated iron and pre-fabricated buildings that were sent out to countries in the Empire such as Australia. These buildings had an important effect on Australian architecture and many of the buildings still survive. Read official list description.

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Anglo Works, Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Mrs Barbara A West LRPS. Source English Heritage.NMR

Anglo Works, Sheffield, South Yorkshire

This cutlery and silversmithing works were built in c1800. This Georgian works is now one of a small number of surviving city centre factories, which still has the distinctive functional architectural character of the early 19th century workshops. Read official list description.

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Commerce Works, Stoke on Trent
Mr Donald Pittman. Source English Heritage.NMR

Commerce Works, Stoke on Trent

These 2 bottle kilns were part of the Commerce Works pottery. They were built in the late 19th century. The Commerce Works pottery was run by the Chetham family from 1796 - 1869. It was then taken over by H.J Aynsley in 1873. Read official list description.

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Shaddon Mill, Junction Street, Carlisle, Cumbria
Mr Larry D. Brown. Source English Heritage.NMR

Shaddon Mill, Junction Street, Carlisle, Cumbria

This cotton factory was built for Peter Dixon by Richard Tattersall. The cast iron framed building and its machinery were designed by William Fairburn. It was originally known as Dixon's Mills. The mills were the largest cotton mills in England when they were built in 1835-1836 and had the tallest chimney at over 300 feet high. After being struck by lightening in 1931 the chimney was reduced to around 270 feet high. The building has since been used as industrial units and apartments. Read official list description.

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Snuff Works, Lowther Street, Kendal, Cumbria
Mr Adrian Allchin. Source English Heritage.NMR

Snuff Works, Lowther Street, Kendal, Cumbria

This factory has been producing snuff since 1782. Taking snuff was very fashionable in Georgian England. The building contains the oldest snuff machinery in Britain. The ancient trade sign on the street wall, of the Turk smoking a pipe, is probably the original. The company still exists in 2009 under the name Gawith Hoggarth and company. The company produces around 15 types of pipe tobacco and around 54 varieties of snuff. Read official list description.

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Darley Abbey Mills, Old Lane, Derby
Mr Nigel Ward LRPS. Source English Heritage.NMR

Darley Abbey Mills, Old Lane, Derby

This building is part of a large cotton factory complex established by the Evans family of Darley Abbey in 1792. It was continuously remodelled and enlarged right up to the late 20th century. It traded under the name of Boars Head Mills. It was one of a number of pioneering textile manufacturing sites in the Derwent Valley. Thomas Evans worked with Richard Arkwright of Cromford. The Evans family was related by marriage to the Strutt family who had mills in Belper, Milford and Derby. All 3 employers provided housing and other services for their workers. Read official list description.



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