Barnfield Mills

Barnfield Mills,  locally known as ”Caleb Wright’s”, was a complex of six cotton spinning mills on both sides of Union Street in Tyldesley. H P. Barton and Caleb Wright built the first mill on the west side of Union Street on a field known as ”Barnfield” in 1851. The mill had 20,000 spindles. By 1866 Wright had new partners, Peter and Charles Eckersley, and the partnership built the second mill. By 1870 Caleb Wright and Company had built a third spinning mill and three more mills were built. At its peak the company employed eight hundred workers.[1]

The last mill, Barnfield No 6, was built between Shuttle Street and Ellesmere Street on the site of Resolution Mill, which Wright acquired in the 1880s; it was destroyed by fire on 26 September 1891.[2] In 1894 after Wright’s death, the company was acquired by the Fine Spinners and Doublers Association and subsequently by Courtaulds. Fred Dibnah demolished one of the mill chimneys in 1970.[3] The last of the mills, No 6, was demolished in 1993.[4]


Barnfield No 6 Mill, designed by Bradshaw Gass & Hope of Bolton was constructed in 1894. The brick-built mill was internally approximately 65 metres wide by 40 metres deep. It had ten bays with a large rectangular window in each. It was six storeys high with a water tower topped with a copper dome at its south-west corner.[5] The tower contained a tank for the mill’s sprinkler system.[6] Its roof had multiple ridges corresponding to the bays, and was covered with slates.[7] At the time of its construction No 6 Mill was at the leading edge of mill design; its concrete floors were supported by steel beams and the supporting cast iron columns were encased in concrete.[8] The mill had a dust flue in the form of an Italianate tower incorporated in the rope race.[7]

The mill was built to house self-acting mules, and originally used the engine house from Resolution Mill to power the machinery via a rope race.[9] A second engine house was built on the north side.[7] Ring-spinning machinery was installed in the 20th century.[9]

The mill had an ornamental single-storey office block fronting onto Shuttle Street.[5]



Ashmore, O. (1982). The Industrial archaeology of North-west England. Manchester University Press.
Lunn, J. (1953). A Short History of the Township of Tyldesley. Tyldesley Urban District Council.
McEwan, A. (2008). Fred Dibnah’s Chimney Drops. Sledgehammer Engineering Press.
Williams, M., & Farnie, D. A. (1992). Cotton Mills in Greater Manchester. Carnegie Publishing.