Pagefield Building of Wigan College of Technology (Gidlow Mill)
Bridgeman Terrace, Wigan
Part of Group: No
At Risk: Yes
Historic England Ref: 233 (Link)
Built in 1865 at a reputed cost of £150,000 , the design was reproduced in the USA.
Originally Gidlow Mill, to the north of Mesnes Park, was built in 1865 to designs by George Woodhouse for John Rylands and was once the centre of his extensive business. It replaced an earlier mill. The complex, includes the spinning mill, weaving sheds engine house and chimney.
The mill is constructed in red brick with details in blue and white brick which was unusual for its date. Its roof has multiple ridges covered in Welsh slate. Its floors were supported on cast iron columns. The mill was of fireproof construction. Cotton was received into the upper levels of the spinning mill and progressed downwards in contrast to other mills.
John Rylands died at his home, Longford Hall, on 11 December 1888, at the age of 87 and was survived by his third wife Enriqueta who inherited the bulk of his estate valued at £2,574,922, greater than that left by any other cotton manufacturer to that time.
Rylands's widow erected in Manchester a permanent memorial of her husband in the John Rylands Library. In 1901, Mrs Rylands paid £155,000 for more than 6,000 manuscripts owned by James Lindsay, 26th Earl of Crawford of Haigh Hall.
October 2016. The building has been vandalised and is in a very poor state, negotiations between Wigan Council and the owners are currently taking place to establish a long term solution.
For more information:
Gidlow Mill - Excellent document with a comprehensive history with lots of images.
In 1865 the Earl of Derby travelling north by train through Wigan praised the Mill "as a pleasure to the eye to rest on, so well has architectural effect has been studied in its construction".