#432 – Rossendale Mills – Albert Mill, Haslingden 5


I mentioned in my previous post about the east Lancashire mill towns being located in valleys or on hillsides. In some respects, it’s similar to the coal mines in the Welsh valleys – although in this instance it is geography rather than geology that dictated this. The textile industries initial growth was powered by water wheels, and given that valleys tend to contain rivers, these valleys were the ideal location. I’m simplifying things here as there were other factors as well, but there is certainly an abundance of these valleys that are / were densely populated with paper mills, bleach works, dyeworks and textile mills. And due to their steep sides, the rural moorland is always within sight. In my talks I speculate that the industrial landscape is the backdrop to northern lives, although in some areas like this, the backdrop is the harsh juxtaposition of man made structure and nature.

This is the same mill and chimneys as in the previous photographs, but from a higher vantage point on the steep sided valley. With this photograph, I wanted to show the juxtaposition of the typical elements of the east Lancashire urban landscape – mills and chimneys, terraced roofs and moorland, oh, and of course, dark clouds.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. A wonderful photo, Andy. Certainly “Happy Valley” country, and of course, the moorland walls and farms would be blasted by the polluted atmosphere caused by the mills and general industrial fall-out coming in on the wind, so the scene would be somewhat gothic. You capture this so well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. andy says:

      Thanks Iain! Yes from an environmental perspective the textile mills, if not all of the coal fuelled Victorian industry, was dreadful. And with the sheer number of mills in these rainy little valleys with their own micro climates would have meant that views of the countryside would have been somewhat rare.


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