We left the Northern Quarter in 2004 to occupy the entire top floor of Urban Splash’s flagship mill development in Ancoats Urban Village. It’s windy, but we love it.
Our team draws as much inspiration from the studio itself as we do from the stunning views out across South and East Manchester. You can even see the Pennines, especially nice in the snow-topped winter.
Built in 1842, Waulk Mill sits on the corner of Bengal Street and Redhill Street. Originally known as
Fireproof Mill and Doubling Mill, the place we call home is now Listed Grade II status.
Fireproof Mill, as the name suggests, was designed to be fireproof by using cast-iron beams and columns rather than timber. Doubling Mill, obvious to anyone with a Masters in textiles (anyone..?), was used for doubling cotton, the process of combining two or more lengths of yarn into a single thread. Stick with us. It gets interesting in a minute.
Both mills were part of the sprawling Murrays’ Mills complex, and linked by personnel tunnels under Bengal Street. On the ‘Manchester’ side of Bengal Street, Murrays’ Mills, associated with the development of the steam driven mule, was the home to A&G Murray – one of the largest cotton-spinning firms in the world, never mind Manchester.
So, the cotton was made in Murrays and doubled in Doubling. Got that? The earliest of the Murrays’ Mills (Old Mill) date back to the late 18th century. At its peak, around a thousand people worked around here, putting in a shift of 72 hours a week. And we thought creating stand-out brands took a lot of graft.