The Corn Mill
There is little information about the corn mill at Kirk Mill. But there were thousands of corn mills dotted around Lancashire at that time. You can find out about what corn mills did and what it was like to work in one at Heron Mill in Beetham. Although the current mill at Beetham wasn’t built until 1740, there is much to learn about milling and water power. A great day out!
The Cotton Spinning Mill
Kirk Mill’s cotton-spinning mill was built at a boom time for the cotton industry across Lancashire. The foremost textiles museum at Helmshore has recently closed down but does still take group visits. Helmshore is home to some original cotton-spinning machinery, including the only remaining original water frame in the country but much of the operational machinery is from much later than the Kirk Mill cotton-spinning period. A very worthwhile visit if you can!
Another good textile museum the Quarry Bank Mill at Styal (National Trust – a bit pricey!)
Chris Aspin and Mike Rothwell have been two of the most important (and prolific!) writers on the cotton industry in Lancashire and for both, Kirk Mill is one of the most important remaining sites relating to the period.
Berry’s Chairworks and Chipping
Stuart Crainer wrote a history of Chipping and Berry’s Chairworks (there is a copy at the Lancashire Records Office) and James Berry was reputedly an enthusiastic historian, as was George Bleasdale. But most of the history of the chair works resides with those who worked there. With your help, we can hopefully bring that history together … please get involved with this website and comment and contribute as much as you can!
Lancashire Records Office: if you feel like doing some historical research into the people involved with Chipping and Kirk Mill over the last 500 years, there is much still to be discovered! The Lancashire Archives in Preston hold much that is and will be of interest.
Longridge Library: a source of local information
Harris Museum: archives on the top floor will also have some relevant information. The museum also has an exhibition on the textile industry locally.
Newspaper archives: there is an enormous amount to be discovered by combing through newspaper articles of the period …