Few remains survive of the once important Lever Bank Bleachworks. It had a fine stone counting house with its original paper-thin glass windows and nearby weigh-bridge. There was a brick-built manager's house and engine house, with a Bodmer vertical type steam engine which survived until 1926.
Originally the works was called Bottoms. It started as a bleachworks, but soon expanded to include calico printing in 1804. The water was diverted from the Irwell by a weir and carried along a riverside goit into the works. Prior to demolition there were remains of large circular stone kiers used in bleaching and numerous water channels under the floor. These channels in the early days would have been used for washing bleached textiles. The bleached cloth was placed into a kind of water-wheel known as a dash-wheel, installed in such a way that the lower section of the wheel would be in the water channel. Water passed along under the floor turning the wheel. The cloth was placed in special compartments within the wheel and as the wheel turned, the cloth was washed.
The site like many water-side textile finishing works was self-contained. It had a large stone-built stable block and blacksmith's shop, and there was even some evidence of a row of cottages.
PHOTO: Counting House
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Keywords:bleach works, bleaching, bleaching, bolton, buildings, chimney, counting house, irwell, ladyshore, lancashire, lever bank, little lever, river, textile finishing, textiles, textiles