Oakwood Mill, Stalybridge, Lancs, December 2019

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People's Republic of South Yorkshire.
1. The History
Located on the edge of Millbrook, between Stalybridge and Mossley, about 4 miles from Ashton, the three-storey Grade II listed building was originally built as a specialised spinning mill for the Staley Mill Company. Built in millstone grit, it had Welsh slate roofs and was configured in two ranges at right angles, forming a U-shaped plan. The south range, a warehouse (no demolished), had three storeys, and sides of 19 and four bays, while the north range (the mill itself) had four storeys and sides of 28 and six bays. The clock tower is dated 1857, which represents the most-likely completion date of the mill. The original beam engine was replaced by a Yates & Thom triple expansion engine and a new engine house was built in 1908 with white glazed bricks internally to house it. In 1911 the mill could drive 59,000 mule spindles and 7,000 ring spindles. Staley & Millbrook Ltd operated the mill until they sold off all machinery for £13,000 in 1937. During the second world it was used to keep Italian prisoners. Cotton spinning ceased in 1961 and it was put to use for a while by a bleaching and dyeing company, Dukinfield Bleaching Co.

At the time of listing in November 1991, the mill was still being used for various light-industrial purposes. Now owned by The Casey Group, Oakwood Mill suffered major damage after three floors gave way on Friday, 9th February 2018 due to heavy rain falling on a build-up of ice on the roof. Despite locals saying they felt an earthquake, fortunately much of the falling brickwork and masonry landed in the mill’s yard.

2. The Explore
Hadn’t planned on looking around this place. Myself and Bikin Glyn were on our way to explore a nearby church when we saw this place so thought it rude not to go back and have a mooch. Given the dilapidated state of the place we were surprised by the relative thoroughness of the new looking heras fencing around the site. This will be explained by the recent collapse at the mill (mentioned above) and Casey’s attempts to secure the site. We could only find our way into the basement of the main part of the mill. Whether or not access to the upper floors went with the collapse, we couldn’t find a way up. Not worthy of a trip in its own right but if you are passing, well worth an hour of your time.

3. The Pictures

Full frontal:

49280192923_5088402c1b_b.jpgOakwood mill 13 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49280210773_6c54c1cabb_b.jpgimg4768 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Date stone:

49280897672_95f8e2f31d_b.jpgimg4766 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The original company name on the front gates:

49280687661_5261cabdb9_b.jpgimg4767 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And round the back:

49280194623_eda69880ae_b.jpgOakwood mill 01 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49280214238_ce293a1320_b.jpgimg4762 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49280694521_84a3faeec1_b.jpgimg4756 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Boiler-house chimney:

49280193008_be4bd87680_b.jpgOakwood mill 12 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49280670701_7e4cd6b38a_b.jpgOakwood mill 04 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And the boiler-house itself:

49280670896_1bc474d11e_b.jpgOakwood mill 03 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49280220103_6c2dac5975_b.jpgimg4753 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49280906902_da71a5ca5c_b.jpgimg4752 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49280879897_ea3e1ed697_b.jpgOakwood mill 05 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The engine room:

49280693896_a244e0ef53_b.jpgimg4757bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

49280901387_9f60159e02_b.jpgimg4760 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49280692986_f53ffbfe22_b.jpgimg4759 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Pipe from the engine room to the chimney:

49280902467_99ccc05ddf_b.jpgimg4758 by HughieDW, on Flickr

On to the mill:

49280695996_b1b35085b8_b.jpgimg4754 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And down into the basement

49280193218_ce62bceef1_b.jpgOakwood mill 11 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49280193478_180558d099_b.jpgOakwood mill 09 by HughieDW, on Flickr

It’s all a bit derpy to be honest:

49280670306_080657dc18_b.jpgOakwood mill 07 by HughieDW, on Flickr

49280193603_0f7a8d96f5_b.jpgOakwood mill 08 by HughieDW, on Flickr

But this little stove is quite cute:

49280193913_c41920c381_b.jpgOakwood mill 06 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The lift shaft:

49280669961_fdaf4c5b4f_b.jpgOakwood mill 10 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And back out again:

49280899107_8c3f2415c8_b.jpgimg4763bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

49280689056_c606fd50c6_b.jpgimg4765 by HughieDW, on Flickr
Last edited:


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Jun 7, 2014
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Yikes I thought it looked a bit ropey in there lol. wonder if it will ever be saved or just left to fall in on itself!


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Jul 14, 2008
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I did a model shoot in the main building years ago! It is So dangerous in there with flooring collapsed in random places - which you have to pass to get to the safer parts! It hasn't changed much but for extra fencing to keep people out. Nice explore!


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Jan 7, 2018
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Lovely place, great pictures, reminds me of Sir Richard Arkwright's Masson Mill which (for anybody who has not been) has a brilliant textile mill machinery museum where you can see the machines working sometimes..

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