Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,194 pages of information and 233,428 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Islington Mill

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Islington Mill. A rare escapee - so far - from Salford's purge of its industrial heritage

in James Street, Salford

Steam-powered 'fireproof' cotton spinning mill, built in 1823 for Nathan Gough

The mill achieved notoriety in 1824 when one of the structural beams collapsed, and 19 workers were killed (16 women and 3 boys).

1824 'Nathan Gough stated that about two years previously, David Bellhouse and Son had built the mill. Six stories high, with an attic room in the roof. The ironwork was done by Bowman, Galloway and Co.' (Galloway, Bowman and Glasgow) [1]

'The apparent cause of the collapse was a flaw in an iron beam in an upper floor of the factory. Gough hinted at negligence. He claimed he had watched most of the iron beams being tested and proved before they were used at the construction site. The testing of the iron beams for the upper floors of the mill occurred when he was sick in bed.' [2]

Islington Mill is currently in use for various purposes, most prominently as Islington Mill Studios. Their website says makes no mention of its historical significance, but says that it is now home to over 50 artists studios, two art galleries a recording studio and club space. [3]


The mill is on James Street, off Oldfield Road

The 1848 O.S. map [4] shows two other mills nearby: Oldfield Road Mill (silk) 30 yds to the west, and Islington Long Mill (cotton) 50 yards north

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1]'The Technical Repository,' by Thomas Gill, Vol VI, 1824
  2. [2] Bellhouse Family History website: see Chapter 3
  3. [3] Islington Mill Studios website
  4. 'The Godfrey Edition Old Ordnance Survey Town Plans: Manchester & Salford Sheet 27: New Bailey & Ordsall Lane' [4]