View Historic England’s Fourth ‘Mills of the North’ Webinar Online

Historic England’s fourth industrial heritage webinar ‘Textile Mills of the North – the impact of Reuse and Regeneration’ is now free to view on-line. Follow this link:  

The three speakers considered how mill reuse is driving the regeneration of whole areas, building meaningful communities, and helping sites to become more environmentally sustainable. A second complementary mills webinar is now in development which will look more closely at delivering high-quality design in mill reuse and details will be posted soon. The webinar also referenced the recent Historic England publication ‘Driving Northern Growth through repurposing Historic Mills’ – available to download this following this link: This document re-assesses the re-use potential of under-used and vacant mills, identifies their possible contribution to rebalancing the country’s economy, and improving environmental sustainability, and highlights regeneration success stories since 2017.

Launch of SPAB Heritage Awards for 2022

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) is expanding its awards for 2022 from two to five. These five awards will further recognise the communities that care for historic buildings and the experts who repair them.

The existing SPAB awards – the John Betjeman Award for conservation to faith buildings and the Philip Webb Award, a design competition for student architects – will joined by three new ones: the Buildings Craftsperson of the Year, the Sustainable Heritage Award, and the Best Loved Award. Storm Bespoke Secondary Glazing will be the main, headline, sponsor for the expanded SPAB Heritage Awards, whilst Terra Measurement is the Philip Webb Award sponsor.

For details on how to entre follow this link:

Levant Mine & Beam Engine Conservation Plan: Consultant Opportunity

The National Trust are looking for a Consultant to write a Conservation Plan for the Levant Mine and Beam Engine, Cornwall. The tin and copper mine is part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. Like its neighbour Botallack, Levant Mine lies dramatically draped over nearly a kilometre of cliff. Established around 1748 from an amalgamation of three earlier mines, it was worked until 1930. The National Trust has been involved with its care since 1967.

The National Trust owns the western third of the mine including the Levant Engine. Cornwall Council owns the rest of the surface remains of the mine. The Engine Houses and Headframes are Grade II Listed structures, as is the Pumping Engine House. The Skip Shaft Headfame is also Grade II listed. The steam winding engine is the world’s oldest Cornish-type beam engine still in its original engine house.

A copy of the brief can be download here:

Queries about the Conservation Management Plan brief can be emailed to: The deadline for tender submissions is 31 October 2021.

Whitchurch Silk Mill ‘Keep the Wheel Turning’ Appeal

Whitchurch Silk Mill has launched a Crowdfunder appeal for £6,000 for urgent and unexpected repairs to the waterwheel that powers the site. The mill is the last example in the country of a silk mill that is still producing silk using historic machines and training highly skilled weavers to use these pieces of living history. Built in 1813, it is Britain’s oldest working silk mill and each year is visited by thousands of people who discover its role in the nation’s industrial silk revolution. 

Last restored in 2014, the eighteen months of COVID lockdown and inactivity has hastened the deterioration of many of the wooden parts of the cast-iron waterwheel. The ‘starts’ which attach the planks to the iron frame need replacing, as do the ‘floats’ which make up the paddles. Replacing the timber is a significant undertaking as each piece had to be specifically cut to fit the old wheel – no socket is identical, so each of the 90 oak starts has to be individually shaped. Similarly, each float (paddle) has to be modified to accommodate the drop-in ceiling height over time. It will also be necessary to replace the bronze bearing which supports the end of the axle of the wheel and allows it to turn freely. 

The waterwheel provides a vital insight into water power and the industrial heritage of Whitchurch, the River Test, and Hampshire. It powers the historic machines used to weave the silk fabric. To ‘keep the wheel turning’ follow this link to donate:

The water-powered Whitchurch Silk Mill

Help Keep Bursledon Windmill’s Sails Turning

Bursledon Windmill after removal of its sails in 2020. Image Courtesy of Hampshire Cultural Trust.

For over 200 years, Bursledon Windmill’s sails have turned over the village of Bursledon. Unlike many windmills built in the Victorian era, which featured cast-iron machinery, Bursledon Windmill, which is operated by charity Hampshire Cultural Trust, is a rare surviving example of a traditional tower mill with timber machinery.

Today, Bursledon Windmill is as much a symbol of local pride as it has been throughout its history, providing for the local community, supporting farmers and allowing villagers to mill their own flour. Surrounded by woodland, the windmill is more than just a local landmark: its ethos of supporting local people continues, providing a tranquil, safe space for visitors and residents to come together.

In May 2021 it will be 30 years since the windmill opened its doors to visitors, following major refurbishment work undertaken by Hampshire Buildings Preservation Trust.

Now the listed windmill faces a new challenge. The wear and tear that comes with being a working windmill has led to the stocks and sails being removed. Hampshire Cultural Trust is launching a campaign to raise money to support the vital work of repairing or replacing the stocks and sails so that they can be reinstated and the windmill can get back into full working order.

David Plunkett of Hampshire Building Preservation Trust commented, ‘Age and the ravages of the weather have taken their toll and repairs are now needed to get the sails turning once again. The Hampshire Building Preservation Trust support the worthy efforts of Hampshire Cultural Trust in progressing the fundraising and repairs.’

With the public’s support, staff and volunteers at Bursledon Windmill will continue to keep local heritage accessible and open to everyone, sharing heritage skills and techniques.

More information about Hampshire Cultural Trust’s campaign to keep Bursledon Windmill’s sails turning, ensuring this community treasure will be protected and restored for generations to come,  is available at

Re-Using Industrial Buildings – Two New Textile Mill Case Studies

Brierfield Mills, Pendle, Lancashire. Image courtesy of Historic England.

One of the most important building conservation principals is that to save a historic building you have to give it a use. Examples of such re-use can showcase the community and heritage value of historic structures. Thus, two new case studies on the successful reuse of historic industrial buildings added to Historic England’s ‘Mills of the North’ webpage do exactly that.

The first case study is the Grade II listed Conditioning House in Bradford. This building was built by Bradford Corporation in 1900-2. It was used to quality check and control the moisture content of textiles by means of laboratory examination and certify their true weight and length. As such it was the only property of its kind in England. This unique building is being converted into a mixed use development with apartments, a residents’ gym, and office space. Scheduled for completion later in 2021, it aims to create a thriving new neighbourhood in the heart of the city. More details here:

The second case study is Brierfield Mills, Pendle, Lancashire, a Grade II listed cotton spinning complex built in 1868. The mill was purchased by Pendle Council in 2012, soon after it closed, with funding from the Homes and Communities Agency. The local M.P., Andrew Stephenson, has been heavily involved in securing a £32m redevelopment programme. He gives his view on how this regeneration scheme is transforming the area, with new apartments, leisure facility, adult learning centre, creative arts studio and canal marina. More details here: Latest Success Stories | Historic England

The ‘Mills of the North’ webpage also includes details of the successful regeneration of the water-powered Queen’s Mill in Castleford Mill, an 18th to 20th century flour mill, and the Grade II and Grade II* 19th century Hunslet Flax Mill in Leeds.

Re-Form Heritage to Regenerate Former Pottery Workers’ Houses in Stoke-on-Trent

The Harper Street: Engagement in Heritage project will renovate eleven Victorian terraced houses adjacent to Middleport Pottery. The terrace, located in the Trent and Mersey Canal Conservation Area, will be transformed into a new heritage attraction, studio & workshop space, publicly accessible archive and community centre for Middleport’s residents. The project will contribute significantly to growing Middleport Pottery and Stoke-on-Trent’s reputation as a heritage visitor destination.

Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic England, Stoke-on-Trent City Council and many other supporters, the Harper Street: Engagement in Heritage project has recently broken ground. In total, £2.5m will be invested into the transformation of the long-derelict terrace and a programme of activities delivered with the local community.

Former pottery workers’ housing on Harper Street, Stoke-on-Trent.

The project will see the eleven former pottery workers’ houses that make up Harper Street regenerated into a new heritage attraction focusing on the domestic life of the early 20th century pottery worker, alongside workshop and retail space for seven creative businesses. The terrace will also contain a dedicated store for the Middleport Pottery collection and archive, and a public research space to allow people to study archive items, many of which will be digitised for the first time. A modern community centre will also be created, offering community activities and support services via Middleport Matters Community Trust and a Changing Places toilet facility will support visitors with additional needs.

Further details can be found here: Information — Harper Street — Re-form (