Following the brook downstream, the next section passes through Waterhead, an area which in 1927 suffered badly at the hands of the 'Great Flood of Oldham'
(The flood struck Oldham on July 11 causing major damage across the area)
A few hundred yards down, and the culvert passes underneath the now demolished Orb Mill
Architect P.S. Stott, Spindleage (1915), Engine: Buckley & Taylor, 1800 hp
Built in 1907 and extended in 1941, the former textile mill ceased production in 1961 and was taken over by I.C.I. Ltd for the manufacture of wallpaper until 1976
It was then sold to Hestair Hope, the educational suppliers (I'm sure the old timers on here like me will remember them)
The mill was finally demolished in 2004
(Pic c/o Dominic Franklin)
Wait for it... to make way for the Waterhead academy, which will replace Breeze Hill and Counthill schools!
(Still Hestair Hope had the last laugh)
L-P Archaeology, advisers to Channel 4’s “Time Team” programme won the tender to carry out the survey ahead of the planning for the new academy
It was here that the archaeologists uncovered evidence of the 1927 flood, when the culvert which runs beneath burst it's banks and part of the mill and local cottages collapsed whilst carrying out excavations at the former Orb Mill site
Their five-day dig opened a series of 30-metre trenches over the Orb and neighbouring Newroyd mill sites, the Sunday School building associated with the local Methodist Chapel, and the site of the Paulden Wood Colliery
Blair Poole, one of the archaeologists, excavated the watercourse where the River Medlock was diverted to power the Newroyd Mill, which was built in the 1820s, and demolished in 1970
He said: “We found four or five bricks in part of the stone wall at a funny angle, where buildings have basically been damaged and taken with the flood.”
His colleague, Claire Statter, said: "Although most of the site was cleared when the mill was demolished, sections were very well preserved"
She also added:
We excavated the rear wall relating to the Sunday School, however it had also been disturbed during demolition
Orb Mill revealed the most interesting areas of archaeology
We saw the foundations for the main frontage of the mill building, and a very well preserved brick floor which would have been within the mill itself
This floor later had concrete pads inserted into it to act as a base for large machinery
To the rear of the site we also found a brick structure which is thought to be part of the engine house or at least the power system for the mill
On the north-east corner of the site we found a large stone wall which would have formed the southern side of a large water course, seen on the 1892 map
Evidence for the colliery was restricted to a dumped deposit of waste associated with the mining that took place on the site in the 18th to late 19th century
- The pics from the former Orb Mill site/section of culvert, around 400m long
Looking back up the weir which inverts the brook around 2m to the tunnel below an ancient Stone Arch
This soon joined with a 5ft Stone Horshoe as we followed it downstream
The next section was even stoopier (at just under 5ft) and appeared much older as it passed under the former Orb Mill site
Eventually the tunnel opened up to a sizeable Stone Arch again as it continued on past the old mill
Now this next piece, which was the last stretch at around 400 yards before it hit the outfall was my favourite
>6ft Stone Arch to >12ft Brick/Stone Round Pipe, YES PLEASE!
After about 100 yards, it shrinks back down to just over 6ft, here the TLR models a Stone Outfall
(Note the tide mark)