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Brock Mill/Leyland Mill Wigan - June 2018

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EdCrane

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I’d been looking into some interesting places to explore around Lancashire and I came across Brock Mill in Wigan. I wasn’t able to fine too much about its recent history. It was clear the last owners were Potter’s Herbal Medicines which started in 1812 as a family company and is now owned by a Swiss drugs giant (Galenica). They were definitely operating out off of Leyland Mill lane in at least 2004, but it possibly looks like they moved out around 2006 when they took a lease out on a new area, their current location in Marsh Green. The general state inside the building suggested it had been abandoned for a few years.

The history on this site near the river Douglas dates back to at least the C18th. There was a forge here that had links with the Haigh Foundry. There was a water mill and it appears that the site processed scrap metal to make engines such as for the fire brigade, other heavy engines and architectural castings throughout the C19th. It seems it was part of a big network, but slowly over time the demand for iron in the late C19th century led to the site being closed in Jan 1885 and then in 1919 the local railway also closed.

Housing developments have been built over the area, it would be nice to find an old map to see which of the mills the site I visited actually represents and figure out how old some of these buildings here actually are.

I had a really good time here. Very enjoyable couple of hours where I took way too many photos. I have tried to edit it now, but appologies if it is a bit photo heavy.

Below are the pictures of my exploration around the place:
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Inside had become home to the birds for a while
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Some areas in larger states of ruin then others
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Some cool history from the last owners
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Hmmmm...
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This is probably my favourite photo I've taken. The rust and cobwebs on the chain show how its aged, but it's still strong. I can feel the abandonedness of the place, yet I feel a lot of character here as well.
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The view from the window
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Industry and nature now living together
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Thanks for having a look. I hope you enjoy the report.
 

Lavino

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A shame all the idiots find the need for shit graffitti. I hadn’t seen this mill posted anywhere before my visit.
 

Hugh Jorgan

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Now that's interesting. If you want to find out what was there before redevelopment, what you could do is go to https://maps.nls.uk and click on SIDE BY SIDE. This will give you and up to date Google map on the right of your screen and on the left you can choose an old map from the drop down menu. Then using the Google map you can see what's there and looking to your left you could see what used to be there.
 
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EdCrane

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Now that's interesting. If you want to find out what was there before redevelopment, what you could do is go to https://maps.nls.uk and click on SIDE BY SIDE. This will give you and up to date Google map on the right of your screen and on the left you can choose an old map from the drop down menu. Then using the Google map you can see what's there and looking to your left you could see what used to be there.

Very useful. I can say looking at the 1885 and 1888 map that the site I visited was classified as the main Haigh Foundries, Leyland Mill was on the otherside of the river. The plot outline is very similar from 1885 to now which is quite cool.
 

EdCrane

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This might be of help.Left click and use the cursor to move round the area,use the scroll to zoom in and out,and the fun bit,use the blue button(bottom left)to bring in the modern overlay.This site covers most of the country.

https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=17&lat=53.5645&lon=-2.6275&layers=168&b=1

That is fun. It looks like the two main red brick buildings are the same from the 1888 map, which I probably spent the most time in. The extension on the end of those buildings that comes out from the river is there in the 1937-61 map and possibly the central building, but I'm not as sure on that. A few of the other buildings must have been built later on. One of them did look like it was just a warehouse and labeling building with a bit of office space which I suspect Potter's had built specifically for their needs.
 

Tbolt

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Top work,

I went here recently and didn't like it personally but you have done a good job with your pics.

Thanks for posting.
 
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