BROCK MILL & HAIGH FOUNDARY - WIGAN - SEPT 2021

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TheBackpackExplorer

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Location
Lancashire & London
The History...
By the River Douglas, Brock Mill first began operation in the mid-1700s & was purchased by the The Earl of Balcarres including the Foundry half a mile down stream. In 1815 due to poor business the blast furnaces were retired but the company found success in building Fire engines. Lancashire’s first locomotive was built at Haigh in 1815, built to work trains from Orrell & Winstanley coal pits to the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. Haigh Foundry gained a reputation for casting large steam cylinders & the forge wrought the parts which couldn’t be cast.

In 1812 lead by chief engineer Robert Daglish, they built Lancashire’s first locomotive at Haigh. Modelled on Blenkinsop’s Yorkshire Horse it was to work trains from John Clarke’s Orrell and Winstanley coal pits to the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. It worked very well, so much so that he built two more before the end of 1816, one working by adhesion only. It was reported that two of these locomotives remained in use until the collieries closed in 1852. Haigh Foundry was acquiring a reputation and deserving it. The foundry became skilled at casting ever larger steam cylinders and the forge wrought the parts which couldn’t be cast.

In 1835 The Earl leased the business for 21 years to Messrs Evans & Ryley. They carried on in the locomotives business & built an estimated 110-120 locomotives. Haigh Foundry was also producing swing iron bridges, dock ironwork, large steam engine for Liverpool & Hull coal & metal mines. After the 21-year lease had expired, Messrs Birley & Thompson saw the opportunity took another 21-year lease. At this time, Haigh Foundry was concentrating on winding engines but had also expanded into brick and tile making & continued to build locomotives that tendered for the Festiniog Railway’s. The depression of the early 1880s hit Haigh hard, the doors closed in January 1885. The Forge made way in the 1990’s for a hoiusing development - whole the remaining buildings were used as a major producer of herbal medicines until around 2008.


The Explore…
Once you fight the forest of needles, cross the stream & make your way inside - you will find Brock Mill. Although only the structure remains & all buildings are very well sealed it is a very peaceful explore with some still nice features despite the buildings being on their last legs.

You only need to check out photos from as little as 2 years ago to see how much this place has changed & how much or should I say how little is left!.


The Photography...

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Thankyou for reading & enjoy the Decay!

:)
 

Hayman

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literally so little left at all - all roofing removed too. It doesn't even seem that long ago that there was still a fair amount left inside here.
"
The depression of the early 1880s hit Haigh hard, the doors closed in January 1885. The Forge made way in the 1990’s for a housing development - the whole remaining buildings were used as a major producer of herbal medicines until around 2008."

So part of another industrial site turned into a housing estate. No doubt the currently remaining buildings will go the same way.
 

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