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Smaller industries

Tannery | Turner Heath mill | Home weaving | Fulling mill / Waulk mill | Neaves hat factory |

There were a number of small industries in Bollington and some are mentioned here.


This was an 18thC business run by the brothers Elias and Peter Lomas. It was located where Brook House is today, on Wellington Road. The mill was water powered. The process also uses a lot of water, and tanneries were notorious for polluting their local watercourse, as well as being most unpleasantly odorous.

Peter Lomas went on to build the first Waterhouse mill on the site behind the tannery. It is not known whether they kept the tannery going once the cotton mill was running.

Peter Lomas

Turner Heath mill

This mill was located behind Turner Heath House, in Bollington Road, when Philip Antrobus lived there in the 1820s. Just a part of a wall remains. We know that in 1832 it comprised a warehouse, dye house, weaving shop, engine house, and steam engine. This was detailed in an Act of Parliament used to modify Philip Antrobus’s Will. However, we do not know whether it was for cotton or silk.

Wall of Turner Heath mill

Home weaving

There are a number of cottages in Bollington that were clearly built with a garret (attic) floor to be used for home working, usually weaving. There are some examples in Water Street, as well as the cottages at the bottom of Beeston Brow. Silk weaving was carried on at cottages in Clarke Lane.

Fulling mill / Waulk mill

Fulling and waulking are processes applied to the preparation and cleaning of wool prior to spinning it into thread. This mill almost certainly pre-dates the cotton industry in Bollington. While there is evidence that there was a fulling mill in the valley of the river Dean, there is none to show where it was! The most likely location is somewhere up Ingersley Vale, near to the houses there which carry the name of Waulk mill. There is a high probability that the two processes were carried out in the same or adjacent premises.

Neaves hat factory

This was located in Higher mill, just one of the many businesses that have been located there over the years.


Our thanks go to those who researched and discovered the history that is presented in these pages. Please read the full acknowledgement of their remarkable achievement. Unless otherwise noted, the historical pictures are from the Civic Society picture collection at the  Discovery Centre  and also available online.

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