#459 – Bailey Mill Revisited

In the summer of 2007 I was on a bit of an exploration rampage, visiting over a dozen sites in a few months. One of my favourites was Bailey Mill in Delph. I’d been tipped off that the metal thieves had forced their way in and were just loading up their highly chromed Transits with copper and other loot, so the next day I finished work at dinnertime and legged it over to Saddleworth.  It was a warm, humid day in August and the sky was covered in an awkward flat cloud cover that I’ve been struggling to this day to get a decent picture out of.

The mill had been closed for several years but was in good condition, and contained some original machinery – not much, but enough to make it interesting. The photographs were good, with 3 featuring in the 20 photographs that make up my my Shadows of The North exhibition.

Thereafter the mill declined. Given the strange tendency (or not) of empty mills to spontaneously combust, I was surprised that Bailey Mill, with it’s wooden floors, had beaten this tendency. However, then came the news on Facebook earlier this year that Bailey’s luck had run out, and it was well ablaze.

I don’t live in the area, and don’t pass through regularly, so it took me until September to pay a visit, and I was surprised that not much appeared to have been done to clear the site.


17th September 2016


3rd August 2007


17th September 2016


3rd August 2007

In reality, the mills days were numbered. Permission to demolish the mills had been granted in 2015, so it was only a matter of time before they were to come down anyway, it just happened a little quicker and in a more dramatic fashion than anyone had anticipated.


Quite literally razed to the ground.


This was the doorway by which I entered the building in 2007- the door itself was lying on the floor that day as the metal thieves had been in the day before and I was fortunate to visit in their aftermath.


The chimney remains intact.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Super work Andy. I know it’s sacrilegious and I would rather see the mill standing, but my, those demolished shots are so tasty! Lovely delicate tones and subtlety.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. andy says:

      Thanks Iain. I’d like to have gone over the fence to explore further but there were a few people around and I didn’t have my hi-vis vest and hard hat ‘camouflage’ to make myself look official!


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