Complex building sequence, the most distinctive part a tall range which forms part of a circa 1911 major rebuild, it is central European in profile, with deep-eaved and swept gambrel roof, big bell cast and iron-crested axial ventilator; the numerous other ranges and additions are plainer but mainly sympathetic in design and in use of materials; mostly white-harled with red ashlar detail, small-paned glazing patterns gambel or gabled slate roofs with broad eaves, long rooflights, red ridging tiles. The tall range near the west whose gable is the inner of 3, stepped in height (lade enters underneath) dates from circa 1890 and is among the earliest surviving buildings at the site; panelled red brick wall partly visible on south flank, west gable harled, but some stonework visible, (eg lade archway) which is probably re-used from pre-1890 building.
C 1911 WORK includes 3-storeyed centre block mentioned above (one flank is placed against the c1890 east gable in a T-plan arrangement), around its perimeter originally a low flat-roofed and deep series of ranges with round-arched openings, these ranges subsequently heightened though
original openings can still be seen eg at east end and (from within later addition) on south; unroofed court/lightwell about lade with gated archway at east. Inside, tall range has concrete-arched floors, steel beams, plain cast-iron columns; brick-faced or tiled walls mostly white-glazed with blue trim; roof has distinctive curved steel trusses as do other early pitched roofs. Elongated cast-iron Corinthian columns survive in original engine room at low level, SE corner. Formal gardens, early 20th century in appearance, were laid out at the east, in front of manager's house; spoiled by huge modern shed now placed over centre area, but rock-faced garden walls survive; with gatepiers at east, and wrought iron gates; also fragments of stone terraces beside house and a small square and rock-faced pavilion; at south, a similar structure (perhaps a powerhouse or summerhouse) built on piers over the river and a gardeners' shed with glass house.
EGG-ENDED BOILER, also beside house, is an unusual survivor; rivetted iron plates and raised on brick piers.
Statement of Special Interest
There was originally a lint mill at this site; purchased circa 1890 for use as a creamery and margarine factory; pioneering work in the development of margarine was done here, including, it is said, the formation of the type of margarine used in puff pastry. A local tradition claims that the blue tilework bands gave their name to a margarine type. Factory was sold in mid 1920's (? to Jurgens, later part of Unilever), but margarine production continued until after last war. Subsequently a spectacles factory until about 1987.