Water Frame

There is only one original water frame still in existence and it can be found at Helmshore Textile Mill.

The water spinning frame was patented by Richard Arkwright in 1768 and Kirk Mill would have had a number of these machines. The 1787 sale notice for Kirk Mill’s cotton-spinning mill advertised twenty spinning frames, with the machinery for 6 more.  They were powered by Kirk Mill’s wheel, which, it is believed was then at the exterior of the building and originally measured 19 feet in diameter.

John Wells found a 1785 bobbin like the below pictured, tucked away in the rafters at Kirk Mill

Bobbins on the water frame at Helmshore – the machinery at Kirk Mill would have been just like this. Indeed, John Wells found a 1785 bobbin tucked away in the rafters at the Old Mill.


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