Begun in 1851 by Martin II and his brother
the mill was named Adelphi in recognition of the Greek meaning
of the word - brothers. It opened for business in 1856. George
was responsible for running the mill. The location beside the Macclesfield
that transport of raw cotton from Liverpool could be made to the
door, as well as being able to conveniently despatch finished goods.
Adelphi was steam powered. It was equipped with a beautiful octagonal
stone chimney which was very unfortunately demolished in the 1980s
when the boiler house and nearby rooms were being converted into
an hotel and pub. That venture failed after a very few years but
of course the chimney was gone. The base of the chimney became
the entrance to the hotel and is the principle entrance to the
Originally there was a gate at the entrance to the mill yard with
an arch above it. This was lost in the early 20thC when road vehicles
got bigger and needed more clearance. A gatehouse was also provided
and that remains today.
The main mill building was never extended, other than a small
roofed area at the south end, so the building we see today is essentially
what was originally built. In the 1920s an additional building
was constructed between the mill and the railway to provide additional
storage. This building still exists and is now accessed from Clough
Bank, rather than the mill yard.
mill was built to spin cotton, there was no weaving. In 1898 it
was amalgamated with other Bollington mills to become
the Fine Spinners & Doublers Association Ltd. In early 1948 it
was converted from cotton to become a silk-throwing and winding
FSDA became part of the Courtaulds group and, for a while, processed
man-made fibres at Adelphi. This was not a success and the mill
closed in 1970.
Today Adelphi is a hive of activity, being fully occupied by modern
businesses mostly providing services to the pharmaceutical industry
(one of the largest, AstraZenneca, is based nearby), and IT users.
It was unfortunate that the mill was on the towpath
side. The canal had been designed and built with the towpath
on the opposite side from all the intended wharves. This had a
number of advantages which would be lost to both Adelphi mill and
other canal users - keeping the towpath away from the wharf avoided
having towing horses coming through the work area; it avoided the
need for towing lines to be carried over the top of moored boats;
it prevented passing horsemen and the boaters from pilfering.
- Distaff 2-3; the staff magazine for Fine
Spinners & Doublers
My thanks go to those who researched and discovered the history
that is presented in these pages. Please
read the full acknowledgement of their remarkable achievement.
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