Mike Davies-Shiel spent years researching the history of Keswick’s many mills, investigating their remains, and looking at anything and everything relating to them – original documents, parish registers, local newspapers, old photos and paintings, census records and even gravestones. All this in the days before any of these sources became available online.
His notes, dated 15th August 1987 and entitled “Keswick’s Water-Powered Mills and Manufactories” were published posthumously in The Cumbrian Industrialist, Volume 8, 2013. This is now out of print, but a PDF copy of the article can be seen here.
He describes a total of 27 mills in a number of ‘mill-districts’:-
Greta Bridge – 2 mills and 2 workshops
Greta Hamlet – the Southey Hill complex
Greta Mills – a complex of 8 mills
Greta Forge – all on the left (west) bank of the river
Shooley Crow (correctly Shorley Croft) – 4 mills up as far as the railway bridge
Brigham Forge – a complex of 7 mills and possibly 1 workshop, or t’Forge
Briery, or Low Briery – a complex of 5 mills, a tannery, and possibly some workshops
Here is a selection from the photos Mike took during his research. There are many more which you can see by searching the Cumbria Archive Services catalogue.
(Page created 16/10/21. Last updated 28/11/22)