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1903 - 1904

Presentation silver trowel with ornate ivory handle. Presented to James Clegg for the laying of the first brick at Marland Mill, Rochdale.

Made by by Henry Aitken, Sheffield 1903.

The urban landscape of the North West owes much of its distinctive character to the textile industry. During Lancashire’s great mill building era, which began in the 1790s, several thousand mill buildings crowded the region’s skyline. These mills, and the canal systems, aqueducts, warehouses and streets of terraced housing built with them, completely transformed the landscape.

From the water-powered mills of the 19th Century to the introduction of electric power in the late 19th and early 20th century which meant that mills no longer had to be sited close to rivers or reservoirs. Many mills were built on the edge of existing urban developments with several massive mills close together.

Britain’s textile industry fell into decline after World War II and by the 1980s, over half of the mills and cloth-finishing works in Greater Manchester had been demolished or were derelict.
Marland Mill was demolished in 2005.