Evolution & Development of the Mill

In 2020, Halton with Aughton Heritage Group hosted a series of lectures in collaboration with The Regional Heritage Centre.

For copyright purposes, these lectures will soon be taken down from our YouTube channel, so here is a summary of them:

Rural Industries in the Lune Valley in the 19th Century

The first was with Dr Mike Winstanley, a retired lecturer specialising in the history of North-West England, who gave a talk on the Rural Industries in the Lune Valley in the 19th Century. He summarised the history of all the water-powered mills of Halton and the bases of industries in the Lune Valley, ranging from coal to flax.  Halton Mill was the most extensive industrial site in the area and was used for all sorts of purposes e.g. twine, silk, cotton, and cloth. He reminds us that precise histories of mills are hard to determine, as tenants changed regularly during this period, and sources such as newspapers are used to track changes in ownership. In the first few decades of the 19th century, the population of the Lune Valley grew more rapidly than Lancaster, indicating that industry was rural, not urban. However, a decline in industry and employment in the second half of the century has meant that there is very little evidence left of these industries.  

Evolution and Development of the Textile Industries

Ian Miller from Salford University also gave an insightful lecture on the Evolution and Development of the Textile Industries. To him, Halton Mill represented the evolution of the textile industry in this part of Lancashire. Ian gave an in depth history of England’s textile history and how we came to be “the manufacturing workshop of the world” in the 19th century. He continues to explain the different types of different mills and how some, like Halton, are being regenerated for other purposes now, whilst still preserving historic buildings.

Links to the existing lectures: