MUTUAL STREET (South side)
Group of three cotton mills. 1884-1914, weaving shed added 1927-37. For the Mutual Spinning Company. Red brick, stone and polychrome brick details, probably steel frames with concrete construction, flat roofs.
PLAN: site comprises three main mill buildings of five and six storeys with attached offices; a separate 2-storey office/ warehouse block in the centre of the site and linked by first-floor corridors to two mills; cast-iron railings and gates to Mutual Street with maker's name: 'Heywood Foundry Company Ltd'. Reservoir on SE part of site. The main buildings are referred to in this description as: No. 1 Mill (facing Mutual Street and Aspinall Street, NW corner of site) ; No. 2 Mill (facing Aspinall St and Buckley St, SW corner of site); No. 3 Mill (facing Mutual St and Orchard St, NE corner of site).
EXTERIOR: No. 1 Mill: built by 1885. Five storeys, approx. 17x12 bays with projecting corner towers, 9-pane windows, lower storeys blocked. Larger Italianate corner tower on SW has shouldered-arched windows with stone lintels, top-storey triple round-arched lights, keyed arches, moulded cornices, parapet with ball finials. Single-storey offices at base, engine house projects on N side, tall round-arched windows, all now blocked, engine house alongside, chimney which stood between these has been demolished. A 1200hp engine was built in 1885, high pressure valve gear fitted by Musgraves 1913, steam plant removed when electricity installed (n.d.) (Watkins G).
No. 2 Mill: 1885-1900, the office dated 1900. Six storeys, twenty-one bays. Corner towers, SW stair tower taller, with four tall lancets and paired round windows to upper part, corner pilasters rising to pierced parapet with ball finials. Engine house with blocked round-arched windows projects on E side, site of chimney to S. 2-storey, 4-bay reception/ office block projects from the base of SW tower and has central wide flat arch, segmental-headed windows, triple window above archway, pilasters, parapet with scrolls flanking pedimented stone plaque dated '1900'. The upper storey is in a brighter red brick and appears to be an addition; the range extends approx twelve bays along Buckley Street.
No. 3 Mill: built by 1914. Six storeys, twenty-three bays to Orchard Street, projecting engine house on E side, site of boiler house and chimney near SE corner. SW corner tower with triple windows, parapet and ball finials. 2-storey block attached to N end, single-storey shed along E side, 2-storey projecting office/ reception block projects at base of stair tower, facing the reservoir. An 1850hp engine was built in 1914 but the start was delayed until 1922 (Watkins G) . Other buildings:
A 3-storey warehouse/ shed built before 1907 between No.1 and No. 3 mills and linked to them by first-floor walkways. The tapering plan is due to a property boundary on the E side, shown on the 25inch OS map revised 1907, before Mill No .3 was built. Weaving shed south of No. 3 mill and parallel to the reservoir. Not shown on the OS map revision of 1927 but built by 1937. Single storey, parallel N-Iight windows.
Subsidiary features: a fine set of cast-iron double gates and flanking railings by the Heywood Foundry Company. Probably contemporary with the construction of No. 3 mill and providing new access to the site, from Mutual Street, c1914. Gates have ornamented lock rails, and bars with pointed finials, octagonal section panelled piers with mouldings and ball finials, standards and railings similar.
HISTORY: Heywood was the fifteenth largest centre of cotton spinning when it reached its maximum capacity on 1915. The Mutual Spinning Company trebled its capacity between 1886 and 1914 to a total of 246,000 spindles, the largest firm in the town. The foundation of this limited company in 1884 helped to maintain the spinning trade across the full spectrum of yarn production. 1891 and 1907: specialist ring mills; 1892: spinning of Bolton counts (Williams M).
An important group of mills all operated by the same company. The use of the same basic design for all three mills produces a dramatic architectural effect and emphasises the importance of a consistent architectural imprint as a company emblem.
(GMAU: Watkins G: Record No.650A: 1954-; Williams M (GMAU) : Mill Survey Report: 1989-: 45) .
Listing NGR: SD8615111117