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Our Water Wheel

Rowarth brook runs swiftly enough to turn water wheels and provides ample supplies of soft, clean iron free water for finishing and printing.
As a result Rowarth enjoyed between 1800 and 1840, an almost forgotten boom, with five cotton mills and a bleachworks employing most of its population. These mills were on a small scale and a bewildering succession of owners showed that this isolated village suffered even more than New Mills from the fluctuations of the cotton trade; and in spite of experiments with steam power and paper making, the mills were doomed by their inaccessibility. Only the Little Mill struggled on into the 1890’s. After the great flood of 1930 when the wheel was catastrophically ruined, Rowarth lost it’s last remaining water wheel.

In the early 1990’s the landlord at the time Mr Barnes paid a substantial amount of money to have a fully working (35ft diameter) replica wheel made and installed, which we are delighted to still have to this day.