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Tour of a Victorian Bobbin Mill

This video takes you on a tour of a Vic­to­ri­an bob­bin mill at Stott Park, near Lake Win­der­mere, in the Lake Dis­trict, Cumbria.

Tour of a Vic­to­ri­an Bob­bin Mill, Stott Park, Cum­bria from Richard Elen on Vimeo.

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Enormous cogwheels at Stott Park bobbin mill

Enor­mous cog­wheels at Stott Park bob­bin mill

Stott Park Bob­bin Mill was opened in 1835 to sup­ply the cot­ton mills of Lan­cashire (of which this area was a part at the time) with bob­bins to car­ry the thread which was spun into cloth. It was orig­i­nal­ly pow­ered by a water wheel, lat­er by a water tur­bine and then by a steam engine. Ulti­mate­ly, elec­tric­i­ty arrived. The mill final­ly closed in 1971 and then reopened in 1983 as a museum.

Exterior view of the building showing the end of the line shaft and a belt drive

Exte­ri­or view of the build­ing show­ing the end of the line shaft and a belt drive

Today, Stott Park Bob­bin Mill is in the care of Eng­lish Her­itage, and in this video you’ll be tak­en on a 20-minute guid­ed tour of the mill by one of the Eng­lish Her­itage staff mem­bers to see the dif­fer­ent stages of the bob­bin-mak­ing process, includ­ing some of the machines being used by a vet­er­an mill worker.

You’ll see the steam engine, although it was not, regret­tably, in steam on this occa­sion, and get a feel­ing for what life was like for the mill work­ers – who, in this case, came main­ly from the work­hous­es of Liv­er­pool and Manchester.

View through the window in the previous picture into part of the building showing some of the machines and the belts leading up to the overhead line shaft

View through the win­dow in the pre­vi­ous pic­ture into part of the build­ing show­ing some of the machines and the belts lead­ing up to the over­head line shaft

For many years, the man­ag­er of this mill was a woman, and curi­ous­ly she only had male work­ers in the mill; gen­er­al­ly mills of this type were oper­at­ed by women, who were wide­ly believed to be bet­ter at the job.

I am grate­ful to the staff at Stott Park and to Eng­lish Her­itage for pro­vid­ing the tour depict­ed in this video.

This video is part of an ongo­ing series intend­ed to give an insight into Britain’s ear­ly indus­tri­al technology.