Stone Bleaching Baths, Hodge Lane, Longdendale, Greater Manchester
These large stone vats or baths were part of the Hodge textile works. They date from the late 1700s and are probably the earliest known textile site in Tameside. Each one of the baths is made from giant stone slabs joined together by iron stays. They are about six feet deep. Grey cloth would have been bleached with lime to make it white, and then laid out in the fields to dry. There are 3 groups of baths. They are terraced into the hillside and arranged in rows on either side of a deep central tunnel which is covered by stone slabs in places and earth in others. Of the 3 groups one has 30 baths; one of 6 or more and one of 14 or more.