Friday, 10 July 2015

Kettleshulme Candle Wick Mill

Tucked away in a valley at the back of Kettleshulme in Cheshire is the derelict Lumb Hole (or Grove) Mill better known as the Candlewick Mill.

This dates from  1797 although it was extensively re-built in 1823 with further extensions later in that century. The three storey building is of sandstone with a Kerridge slate roof. The buildings opposite included the manager's house and offices. The upper part of the boilerhouse chimney has been removed and the lantern above the stairwell has been lost. This had originally been a cotton mill and was purchased by Mr Sheldon following a fire in the 1820's. The mill was re-equipped to manufacture candle wick, especially for miner's lamps, a trade which continued until closure in 1937.  The company was originally styled "John Sheldon and Son", a partnership between John and John Thomas Sheldon which was dissolved in 1875. The company was later known as Sheldon Brothers.

The mill was water powered and still contains its overshot iron water wheel, 26ft in diameter. Water was carried from the adjacent lodge through a steel channel which can still be seen. The mill was equipped in 1840 with a condensing beam engine supplied by Sherratts of Salford as an auxiliary supply of power. A lean-to extension forms the boiler house which contains a Cornish boiler.

Originally lit by oil, Sheldon Brothers subsequently manufactured their own gas for lighting before installing a water powered electricity supply.

The site is Grade II listed and privately owned. The buildings are intact and in reasonable order and much of the original machinery still exists. Hopefully they will one day be restored and find a new purpose and perhaps even open to public view.

The former manager's house and offices.

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