Rishton Mill, Spring Street

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Celebrating the Coronation of King George V in Rishton Mill.

The weaving shed was erected in 1851 by Thomas Howson, agent of the Dunkenhalgh Estate, and Thomas Whittaker, a Blackburn mill manager. It was the first weaving mill to be erected in Rishton.

Situated in a good position on the canal and next to the main road, the mill was taken over by John Anderson in 1854, who added a spinning mill.

Following Anderson's failure in 1864 the factory was leased to Mercer, Brother & Co., of Great Harwood. They installed 20,000 mule spindles, 345 looms powered by 4 pair of beam engines and two Lancashire boilers in 1860.

John and Robert Mercer were sons of Mr. John Mercer, F. R. S., F. C. S., who was the inventor of the process known as mercerising.

In 1881, after the death of Robert Mercer, who was killed whilst crossing the railway line at Preston Junction,  'James Hansony' or Hanson, the firm's book-keeper acquired the business. He ran the mill until his death in 1908.

Additions were made to the weaving shed in the same year increasing the looms to 600. Products included 50/60s weft, dhooties, mulls, fancies, plains, sateen's, and jacconettes. Spinning ended c1912 and thereafter the mill concentrated on weaving.

Rishton Mill being demolished.

James Hanson Ltd., was formed in 1923 with John Greenwood and his family as major shareholders (Barlow Brothers & Greenwood, Church), they had 552 looms manufacturing cambric's, casements, drillettes, pongees, limbrics, muslins etc. with 350 employees.

The mill closed in 1926, due to post war depression, and the plant was sold piecemeal in 1931. Demolition of the mill followed after.

On the 8th January 1945, Correspondence was read at a council meeting concerning premises suitable for the wholesale manufacture of clothing in Rishton. Information was sent to the enquirer concerning the Rishton Mill and arrangements could be made for an inspection of the premises if he so wishes. The Clerk reported that he had conducted two gentlemen over Rishton Mill in connection with an enquiry for factory premises on the 22nd February 1945. A letter was read asking whether the Council would give any financial assistance to the establishment of a new industry. No such financial assistance was to be given.

Today much of the site lies empty and much of the building has been pulled down. The site has been purchased by Broadloom carpets Limited (ref Wheatfield Mill).


As of 2004, a section of boundary wall along Hermitage Street and the east bank of the canal, (see the pictures on Hermitage Street). Also the foundations of engine bed.

The majority of the site is now occupied by ironclad warehousing of Broadloom Carpets Ltd.

Associated Housing

1 - 23 and 2 - 24 Edward Street (Dating from c1860) were owned by members of the Anderson family.


Industrial Rishton by Kathleen Broderick and M Rothwell.

Rishton Parish Church and School 1927 by Carlton Noble.