Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,949 pages of information and 233,606 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
This mill was commissioned by two Scottish businessmen, James McConnel and John Kennedy in 1790, and was constructed in 1818 as a spinning mill. One writer, Alexis de Tocqueville, described Redhill Street Mill in 1835 as "...a place where some 1500 workers, labouring 69 hours a week, with an average wage of 11 shillings, and where three-quarters of the workers are women and children". Eight storeys high, it was the tallest iron framed building in the world in its day.
During the Cotton Famine, the company had obtained rights to Heilmann's new combing machine, and managed to tick over during the depression. In 1865 the building was altered by the new owner, Sir William Fairbairn, to install larger automated spinning mules. By this time it was the biggest mill in the Manchester region. Further buildings were added in 1868 and 1912 to cope with the demand for increased output.