Arkwright Mill

Arkweight Mill is located in Rochdale, within Greater Manchester. The mill was built in Wardleworth by Arkwrigth Cotton Spinning Co in 1885, on a piece of flat land adjacent to the River Roch.

The mill was served by the Rochdale Canal, and rail service was also availble thanks to the Manchester and Leeds Railway which opened in 1839.

Short facts

Owner 1.) Arkwright Cotton Spinning Co

2.) Lancashire Cotton Corporation (1930s)

3.) Courtaulds (1964)

Location Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England

53.6257°N 2.1388°W



Mule frames

49,000 spindles in the year 1891

Cotton count

Average to 16s

Serving canal Rochdale Canal
Serving railway Manchester and Leeds Railway



Before the emergency of the textile industry, Rochdale was chiefly known as a market town on the River Roch, in the foothills of the South Pennines. Eventually, it began to flourish as a centre for trade in wool, and a text from the early 1700s describes Rochdale as a town with a remarkable number of wealthy merchants.

The aboundance of wool turned Rochdale into a hotspot for the production of woolleen flannel, so it was already a textile town when the English cotton industry begane to emerge. The first water-powerd cotton spinning mills in Rochdale were built on the River Roch in the 1780s.

In the 19th century, Rochdale became a center for cotton milling and the manufacturing of cotton textiles. This development was aided by the opening of the Rochdale Canal, which started in 1798 and was completed in 1804. In an era before motorised road transport, the canal was used to boat in imported raw cotton, and coal for the factory steam engines, and then haul out the finnished textiles.

By 1818, there were seven cotton mills in Rochdale.

Arkwright Mill

The Arkwright Cotton Spinning Co

In the early 1880s, the practise of forming joint stock companies with limited liability for the owners reached Rochdale, causing many new mills to be financed and built.

One of these new companies was Arkwright Cotton Spinning Co, who built the Arkwright Mill in 1885 – a mill that used both ring frames and spinning mules.

Both the mule frames and the ring frames came from Howard & Bullough. When the mill was opened, it had 49,000 mule spindles and 26,000 ring spindles, spinning 16s. They had 300/408 mule twists, 208/368 ring twists, 228/428 weft.

The Lancashire Cotton Corporation

In the 1930s, the Arkwright Mill was one of many English cotton mills purchased by the Lancashire Cotton Corporation. This corporation had been founded by the Bank of England in an attempt to save the struggling English cotton industry. After World War I, the English cotton industry had found it very difficult to compete with all the new cotton mills that had been created in cotton-growing nations during the war, when importing raw cotton to England had been virtually impossible. The main goal of the Lancashire Cotton Corporation was to save the English cotton industry by purchasing privately owned mills and rationalasing them.

The Courtaulds acquired the Lancashire Cotton Corporation in 1964, thus becomming owners of many different mills, including the Arkwright Mill.