This engraving from an 1896 advertisement shows Lower Mills
as notionally seen from the top of St John's church tower.
To the right can be seen the cottages in Oldham Street.
Some parts of the mill 'square' remain incorporated
into the modern mill but the rest has gone in the redevelopment
of the mill over the hundred and ten plus years since the
picture was drawn. However, the hexagonal stone built chimney
remains, if rather shorter than it was.
The hills are stylised, they don't look like that at all!
Notice the mill pond between the mill and the hills. The
houses up the hill above the left of the pond probably represent
those up Lord Street. While the background may be fanciful,
experience tells us that the image of the mill buildings
themselves are likely to be fairly accurate.
View Larger Map
The map shows the modern mill. The picture above is taken
looking south while the map has north at the top.
Notice the shadow of the chimney near the bottom of the mill
site. The church tower is towards the top right.
Lower mill (not to be confused with Lowerhouse mill) was built
in 1792 by George Antrobus, and
passed on his death in 1820 to his son Philip
Antrobus. In 1830 it was let to John Shaw Astley, in 1832 to
Thomas Creswick (a relation of
the Oliver family at Waterhouse mill) and John Harrop. The Trustees
of Philip Antrobus (d.1830) let both Higher and Lower mills to
Messrs Swindells and Oliver. George and Martin Swindells II took
Lower mills on their own from 1859. All of these occupants were
spinning or otherwise processing cotton. The mill was bought by
& Leigh Slater in 1875 who converted it to paper coating.
the latter 20thC it passed to Tullis Russell, an employee owned
business, who continue to operate the mill into the 21stC as
a paper coating mill. It is unique in Bollington that a mill continues
the same industrial process for as long as 140 years. Today (2016)
while some of the buildings are old they contain very modern paper
processing technology producing high quality products being sold
around the world. Approximately 100 persons are employed at the
mill in 2016.
Lower mill was originally water powered with a mill pond beside
the mill. Most of this has been filled in in modern times and is
now used for the staff car park. See the page on mill
ponds. Later the mill converted to steam power with a delightful
octagonal chimney which stands to this day in its original position.
This mill has two access points - one in Palmerston Street used
today for product despatch, the other at the south end of Church
Street where it meets Lord Street used for delivery receipt.
My 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.
Your Historic Documents
Please don't chuck out those historic documents and pictures! Find
out why here.