Lowerhouse mill was built in 1818/19 by Philip
is not clear whether the mill was used by Antrobus before his early
death in October 1830. The mill was taken over in 1832 by Samuel
Greg junior who certainly used it for cotton spinning.
mill was typical of its era, built of local stone, four stories
high with long open floors. It was water powered, having a long
narrow mill pool immediately above the wheel house. This was fed
from the river Dean, the last wheel on its way from Rainow to Wilmslow.
More on mill ponds. Steam power was added at a later date. Various
additional buildings have been added over the years around the
original building, but the mill remains largely untouched. The
boiler house was provided with a beautiful octagonal chimney, but
unfortunately this has been shortened several times in the late
20th and early 21st centuries, now being little more than half
its original height (2015).
Lowerhouse was some distance from Bollington and was connected
only to Bollington Cross via Moss
Brow - Albert
Road wasn't built until 1868.
As a result Antrobus had had to build a complete community
at Lowerhouse, with fifty terraced cottages and other houses
for his workforce. This isolation and integrated community
suited Greg very well because he wanted to develop an 'improved'
workforce in a location not unlike a smaller version of what
we call a garden city - something like Bourneville (built
by the Cadbury family southwest of Birmingham). Greg provided
gardens, allotments, a school, a library and evening classes
for his workers to learn how to grow vegetables, how to feed
themselves properly and care for their health. Greg called
it 'Goldenthal' - Happy Valley. Today the term is applied to
the whole of Bollington, but it originally applied only to
In theory this was supposed to ensure that Greg had a happy, healthy
and compliant workforce. However, it all went very wrong in 1847
when Greg desired to introduce new machinery into the mill and
the workers objected. They went on strike and the shock was so
great that Greg, being a sensitive and Godly man, retired to his
in Bench Lane (Flash
and never went near the mill again. See the Samuel
Greg page for
more on this interesting man.
Under Greg's management the mill was not entirely successful,
having run into both debt and labour problems - he was not really
cut out for the job. Once he left, two of his brothers moved in
and took over the management with rather more success.
At a later time, bleaching and dyeing were also carried out at
By the 1930s, cotton was suffering one of its economic doldrums
and Lowerhouse ceased spinning. The mill was taken over by Slater
coat paper and card and remain there as one of Bollington's most
successful industrial businesses.
At various times other businesses have shared parts of the mill.
(1918-23) who repaired radio valves, who were forced out of business,
but one of whose management went on to establish Radions ...
(1923-25) who repaired radio valves, and developed and manufactured
their own new valves.
(1925- post WWII) a business spun out of Radions, which mostly
made domestic light bulbs. They also made vehicle light bulbs,
and this part of the business was spun out to become ...
Lighting, (1930s - 1970s) which supplied
80% of the UK automotive industry demand for vehicle
light bulbs, although no longer from Lowerhouse.
Their registered trade name was 'Alite' (left).
|V & E
Friedland, (1939-) moved from London after
their factory was bombed in WWII. Then, they made electrical
components for military vehicles and aircraft. After the
war they turned to making door bells and chimes. They later
moved to Stockport. One of the managers who moved from
London and became a much valued member of the Bollington
community was Harry Pleeth.
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.
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