My Ways and by-ways – Old Colne Valley Mills in pictures – Britannia Mills

Back at the end of October I posted the first of these features about old mill buildings, starting with Upper Mills in Slaithwaite. Now, I have focused on the cluster of units which once made up Britannia Mills right in the centre of the village, and clumped between Britannia Road and Kiln Hill. The magnificent Victorian chimney, though not the tallest in the village, is one of Slaithwaite’s landmarks.

I haven’t had time to dig deep into the history of these buildings, and unearthing relevant information, seems to be as elusive as the moon when you’re trying to rake it out of the canal*. Brooks dye works was once housed there, I am reliable informed, and they produced the blue colour for the garter room carpet at Windsor Castle.

Today there are shops and units which occupy the buildings, so it hasn’t been difficult to do some snooping at the original features both inside, and round the yard at the back. Here are the results of my sneaking about.

*Moonraking, for anyone unfamiliar with this custom, may appear in a future post.

An important window once.
I think goods would be hauled in through these doors. There is an auction held in the basement here.
Not sure what this was used for???
Part of what is now used for auctions
The roof of one of the outbuildings
Old and new inside the basement of The Emporium
The building still retains its original features
The ceiling above Felt Mountain, the back unit of The Emporium
Pillars in the basement of The Emporium
There are many fantastic things to see inside The Emporium
An old fire point inside the shop
Weeds now grow in the guttering of the old sheds, moss and lichen decorate this chimney
Globe Worsted is just peeping out the back in the middle of picture
Moulded brackets support the top cornice of the chimney
Finally, had to finish with a big picture of this fabulous grade II listed chimney. According to the architect’s notes it is a 100 ft hammer-dressed octagonal chimney. The brick parapet at the top is supported by a large ashlar cornice. Photo taken from Manchester Road while I was waiting for a bus.

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