Rock Nook Mill (Fothergill & Harvey) URBEX

Fothergill and Harvey’s factory is actually just around the corner from where I live and at one point was the centre of the industrial revolution in Littleborough and has, over the years, been a staple of employment in the area. The building is now a derelict relic of that era.

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Visited by: Nic, Shorty, Ben

Some History

Rock Nook Mill is situated in the upper Roch valley on the edge of the Pennines and alongside the Rochdale Canal. Which is conventionally just around the corner from where I live so I imagine Ill be visited again and conducting a few experiments here!! muhahha!

The mill was originally constructed by Fothergill and Harvey, The company was founded in 1846 by Alexander Harvey, son of Charles Berry who adopted the name Harvey, and two Fothergill brothers. The company specialised in merchanting cotton cloth in Manchester.
In 1859 they took over a small weaving shed in Littleborough from a small family firm, King & Co, and this was to become Sladen Wood Mill.

Built in the 1840’s and aquired by Forthergill and Harvey in 1910, as a cotton yarn and cloth manufacturer Rock Nook Mill is an odd looking stone building and quite unique in appearance as far as cotton mills are concerned.The Mill has 4 floors, and a basement which is still in use, as the other side of the mill which was extended in 1898 is very much ‘Live’ and in use.

In 1987 the business was bought out by Courtaulds, and since occupied by Tygaflor Ltd, producers of lino flooring. The mill now stands empty and has been stripped.

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The Visit:

I had been told that this place wasn’t worth visiting and there was nothing to see, but I had heard the same story about St Luke’s. It is true that this place is in a bad way, but I have to say these kind of post-apocalyptic type explores are the types of places I really find interesting.

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Seeing as it was so close and upon having a better look the access to easy our curiosities got the better of us anyway! The first time I explored here there were kids running around in the building too, which both proved entertaining as they though we were police but also unnerving as they kept popping out from all over the place!

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This place is pretty big and although it is still quite trashed there are a few things in there that are intact and worth seeing. The thing that really fascinates me in these places are the little pieces of evidence of it’s past life, little tea pots or notices, it really gives you a sense for the people who used to work here and they have an almost ghost like quality to them.

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What is great now is that this place is so fascinating, so easy to get into and so close to where I live, having less opportunity to explore recently due to friend moving away and having no transport this place can serve as somewhere to enable my experiment for uni whilst I work on other places.

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New Photos from Jan 2014

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Nicola Hilditch-Short

Nic is one half of the Roaming Renegades, a passionate traveller, climber, adventurer, photographer and artist who has a B.A in Fine Art and M.A in Design & Art Direction.