History - Hope Mill Partnership Hope Mill Partnership


Documentary evidence suggests that Hope Mill was one of the earliest developments in the new industrial suburb of Ancoats created from a greenfield site alongside the Ashton Canal in the 1820’s. It was built circa 1824 for the firm of Joseph Clarke & Sons as a fustian weaving and cotton spinning mill, with its steam engines provided by Boulton & Watt of Birmingham. By 1880, the area was fully developed, with a large number of steam- powered industrial complexes. In the early C20, Hope Mill was occupied by John Hetherington and Sons, manufacturers of textile machinery, based at Vulcan Works further west on Pollard Street, but moved out circa 1939 when the Lancashire cotton industry was in serious decline. There were various other post-war owners of the mill until it was purchased by the current landlords, Hope Mill Partnership, in 2001.

Hope Mill is a Grade II* listed building described by English Heritage as “A steam-powered textile factory of c.1824, one of the best-preserved examples of its type in Manchester, one which retains extensive evidence for the evolution of successive power systems, and which includes an innovative prefabricated iron roofing system. This important component structure demonstrates an understanding by the designers of the principles of compression and tension acting in roof structures, and is related to similar early iron roof structures in contemporary mill developments in Ancoats. Hope Mill makes a strong contribution to the international significance of this part of Manchester as the prototypical industrial suburb. Additionally, it forms an important component of an impressive and evocative group of former textile mills flanking the banks of the Ashton Canal including Brunswick Mill. The Ashton Canal corridor defined the southern boundary of the Ancoats district, with industrial buildings of near contemporary dates to those that extend from the Rochdale Canal north west to the Oldham Road. Although the area between the 2 canals is much altered, the shared architectural and landscape characteristics of the 2 canal corridors express the extent and density of Manchester’s textile and engineering industry at its peak, and together constitutes an historical industrial landscape of international significance.”

In short, Hope Mill was built as, and has remained, an emblem of the city’s hardworking and forward-thinking ethos for nearly two centuries. Its bricks were set with Northern grit and through all its transformations it’s always retained a strong sense of character. From textiles to its present utilisation by the creative industries, this building has thrived and survived in all cultural climates.

Hope Mill Partnership LLP
5th Floor, Hope Mill, 
Pollard Street,
Manchester M4 7JA
© 2018 Hope Mill Partnership