I visited Vernon Carus’ old Penwortham Mills site back in 2007, not long after the site had closed and work transferred to a new factory round the corner from my house in Chorley. At the time, there was a full time security guard on site who kindly let me wander round for a couple of hours. The main mill was mostly empty and I couldn’t find access to the weaving sheds that contained the remaining machinery. Thereafter, the site went into decline after security was withdrawn, and eventually, the sheds were demolished. The site was bought for redevelopment, but no progress has been made due to the appalling lack of access and the mill has just sat there slowly decaying. It’s been bricked up to make access harder, but to be honest I’ve already been round and don’t fancy risking my neck trying to get in somewhere that’s just a bombed out hulk.
I’d bought a new compact camera so as the place is only 20 minutes away, I thought I’d swing by to have a look and test the camera.
It was very hard to get any external photographs of the mill in 2007 as there was a lot of single storey buildings in the way. These have since been cleared which makes photography easier. You can see where the north light windows in the shed roofs would have been.
Looking across the empty wasteland that was once boiler houses, offices and weaving sheds.
Zooming in a little more. This is where compact cameras come into their own, having a small lens diameter that can fit through gaps in fences and being able to zoom in a lot.
I used to think this was the base of a chimney, but in hindsight, I think it’s actually a staircase, given how close the windows are to it. I think it may have been this one, but it’s been 9 years since I took that and can’t remember it’s exact location in the mill.
Vernon Carus Cricket and sports club is more or less opposite the mill and is still very much active. I think they also have a fishing section that uses the old mill lodge behind the factory.