Collection: Big Mill, Leek

This photograph showcases the imposing Big Mill on Mill Street in Leek, a six-storey building designed by William Sugden in 1857. The mill's grand scale, with its 21 bays in length and five bays in depth, is evident from the image, highlighting its significant presence in the town's landscape. Once central to the silk manufacturing industry, this historical landmark now stands amidst modern residential areas and surrounding greenery, reflecting its storied past.

Originally occupied by Joseph Broster in 1858, Big Mill later became the base for the renowned silk firm Wardle & Davenport, pioneers of artificial silk stockings. At its peak, the firm employed up to 2,500 people. Despite its historical importance, the mill declined, leading to Wardle & Davenport's receivership in 1970. Now Grade II listed, the building is undergoing redevelopment, although progress appears to have stalled, as depicted in the image.