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PRIMROSE MILL

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  PRIMROSE PRINTWORKS
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This purpose-built cotton-spinning mill was erected in 1787 by John Parker and John Parker, who also owned Low Moor Mill in Clitheroe. Primrose Mill was four storeys high, and measured 70ft x 31ft (21.34 x 9.45m), together with 11 cottages, a stable, shippon and gardens to create Clitheroe's second industrial settlement. The mill contained 14 spinning frames with 856 spindles, powered by a 26’ diameter waterwheel.
Spinning continued until 1810/11 when Thomson, Chippendale & Burton, later to be James Thomson, Brother & Company, began calico printing. This firm began in a small way, although a machine room, bleach croft, three dye houses and two engine houses enlarged the business by 1827.
In 1854 the new owner, Richard Fort of Read Hall, separated the units so both cotton spinning and paper making took place on the premises. J & J Mercer of Holmes Mill converted the New Print shop to Primrose Spinning Mill in 1860. The building was constructed from random limestone with sandstone details. It was 11 x 8 bays, with a double-hipped roof and the wooden floors were supported on cast-iron columns. A sprinkler tower and latrine turret were located against the north-east corner. The south-east wall accommodated a central turret; the recently erected engine and boiler houses were on the south-west corner. A two-storey, seven bay long winding room with northern light roof was behind the main building.
The mill closed in 1884, it remained empty until 1904 when the bobbin makers Richard & John Holden took over. Primrose Ring Mill Limited was formed in 1905, which re-equipped the building for ring spinning and destroyed the existing chimney. The final use for the textile industry was by Lancashire Cotton Corporation in 1930. By 1942 the building was used for storage by the Ministry of Pensions. Although the Upper and Lower Works were used for paper making after the units were divided, initially Lower Works were employed in calico printing.

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