Washwheel Mill (Lower Works at Washwheel) built in the latter half of the C19th, was used primarily as a bleachworks for the bleaching of cotton waste. It had a Lancashire Boiler (with economiser), and used water from the Cheesden Brook for the bleaching process although it seems not for powering the mill.
This is a compact site which is full of industrial archaeology including the remains of the stone becks used in the bleaching process which probably held around 400 gallons of scouring liquor. To the north (directly behind the mill) is the main lodge which was fed by a riveted iron pipe from a lodge to the west (across the river). The pipe is still in evidence but has fallen into the river. The supply pipe for the water used in the bleaching process is still on site also close by to the chimney. A large overgrow indent with some stone and brick surviving runs parallel to the brook - this was the location for the Lancashire Boiler and economiser.
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Images of Washwheel Mill
You can view all of the Cheesden Valley mills on my Google Earth archi-map.
Access is from my archi-map page on my website.
Satellite Image of Washwheel Mill courtesy of Google Earth
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There are a number of references which require acknowledgement. Firstly the pioneer book by A.V. Sandiford andT.E. Ashworth called The Forgotton Valley is an important source of information and is available from the libraries at Heywood or Rochdale. For a general background Owen Ashmore's Industrial Archaeology of Lancashire is a must. There is also a good archive at Heywood Library.