Close to the very centre of the town of Wigan there lies Trencherfield Mill, standing next to the Leeds Liverpool canal. Its tower dominates the local skyline.
The original mill was built in 1822–23 by William Woods but the present building dates from 1907 when it was constructed into its current form. The original building was four storeys with a basement and had a circular chimney.
The mill engine was stopped in 1968 when the mill became part of the Wigan Pier redevelopment area. The tower and stonework from 1907 still exist today.
Historically Wigan was always an important place for the transportation of goods, particularly coal back in the mid 1700's and when cotton factories started to gather importance, Trencherfield Mill was built to allow the good to be transported to and from the port of Liverpool and of course further inland.
By 1912 the industry was producing 8 billion yards of cloth, but the Great War took a heavy toll on the work as most of it was moved abroad and the industry never really recovered from that.
During 2005-2007 the Grade II listed building was renovated and Trencherfield Mill became a mix of developments, commercial, retail, leisure and apartments were now housed in the original building.
Added to the facade were some wonderful pieces of modern art and sculpture which really did blend in superbly with their surroundings.
The mill is also home to ARLA - The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts, further enhancing its multi-functional use.
Of course, every mill needed a powerful engine and Trencherfield Mill was no exception. Power was supplied and provided by a 2,500 horse powered steam engine that was built by J & E Wood of Bolton.
There are two halves to the engine named Rina and Helen and they drive a 26-foot flywheel with 54 ropes at 68 rpm.
Like lots of other parts of the building the steam engine has been restored and now operates occasionally as a visitor attraction for groups and schools.
The mill and surrounding buildings are a really impressive reminder of the industrial heritage of the town, nestled nicely alongside the canal they form a great hub of transportation.