Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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James Meredith

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James Meredith & Co of Manchester

1788 James Meredith listed as a pin maker, Hanging Ditch. Also Bracken and Meredith, paper makers, Hanging Ditch and Ancoats Bridge.[1]

1794 Listed in Scholes's Manchester & Salford Directory, 1794 as a pin and paper manufacturer, 12 Hanging Ditch and Ancoats

1797 Listed in Scholes's Manchester & Salford Directory, 1797 as a pin-manufacturer, 12 Hanging Ditch and Ardwick Island

1800 Listed in Bancks's Directory of Manchester & Salford as a pin and paper manufacturer, Ardwick Island, warehouse 12 Hanging Ditch

Location and Subsequent Development of Ardwick Site

Green's Map of Manchester & Salford (surveyed 1787 - 1794) shows 'Ardwick Island', belonging to Mr Meredith, as a small area containing industrial buildings and landscaped gardens, with pond (probably doubling as a reservoir), on the north bank of the River Medlock, immediately to the east of Ancoats Bridge. There is no 'island', but the site is in a shallow valley, so perhaps it was built on an outcrop of slightly higher ground than its surroundings. There is a weir at the upstream corner of the site, alongside a small building. This was possibly the original pin mill. A short distance to the north is Ancoats Hall, and the general impression is of a pleasant rural area, just beginning to see the arrival of factories.

Bancks's 1831 Map shows a Dye Works on the site. The small building near the weir has gone, but the pond remains. The main road to the south is called Pinmill Brow. The pond or reservoir is still present.

The 1849 O.S. map shows the site occupied by the Ancoats Bridge Dye Works. The lane running along the northern boundary is called Ardwick Island.

The 1915 O.S. map shows a smaller group of buildings, and the lane named Ardwick Island has been truncated to accommodate a railway embankment and bridge serving Ancoats Good Station. The earlier weir has been supplemented by one further downstream, probably a tilting weir (see River Medlock). The road south of Ancoats Bridge has retained the name Pin Mill Brow. This would have been no rural idyll, although some trees had regained a foothold by 1970 [2]

Remarkably, the location of Meredith's mills has now been returned to grass and trees.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Lewis's Manchester Directory for 1788
  2. [1] Manchester City Council archive photo showing railway bridge