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So who is Samuel Oldknow?

Samuel Oldknow (1756 – 1828) transformed rural Marple and Mellor into a hub of industry. By the time he was 30, he had made a fortune producing muslin. With a loan from Richard Arkwright he built mills in Stockport and Mellor; Mellor Mill, next to the River Goyt, was the largest cotton spinning mill in the world at the time.

Marple Aqueduct

He was a man who used water to his advantage, diverting the course of the River Goyt to power Mellor Mill, and he was the driving force behind the creation of the Peak Forest Canal.

As you walk around Marple and Mellor there are street names, buildings, structures and areas of land that are all parts of Oldknow's legacy, the things he's left behind. Three places where we can really appreciate his astonishing achievements are the remains of Mellor Mill, Marple Lime Kilns and Marple Aqueduct.

Mellor Mill

Mellor Mill, once the largest spinning mill in the world employing hundreds of women and children, is now an archaeological site which has been taken over by nature. Volunteers worked for three years to uncover the foundations of the mill, which was decimated by a fire in 1892.

Marple Aqueduct

Marple Aqueduct is a Grade 1 Listed, Scheduled Monument. It sits in beautiful countryside, near the dramatic flight of Marple Locks.

Marple Lime Kilns

Once a vital part of Marple's industry, Oldknow's Lime Kilns, are Scheduled Remains near top locks in Marple.

Last Edited: 01 October 2021

photo of a location on the canals
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