Macclesfield - Hovis Mill  




Other places along the canal:


High Lane

Higher Poynton






Scholar Green

Kent Green

Hall Green

Red Bull

For places of interest away from the canal look at Offline interests and Pubs.

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Macclesfield - Hovis Mill


This beautiful mill stands beside the canal at Macclesfield, adjacent to Macclesfield Canal Centre. It was the original home of Hovis - that delicious bread that has remained popular for more than a century. The product of the mill was actually the grain used to make the bread - the wheat is ground in a special way to leave the distinctive flavour in the floor. Bakers who buy the flour to make their bread can sell the loaf as Hovis. Flour was milled here from 1898 to 1904 when the business outgrew the mill and was moved to Trafford Park, Manchester. However, this mill was retained for the production of the paper wrappers in which the loaves are commonly sold. This change was marked by painting its new name - Publicity Works - on the side in huge white letters on a solid black background (picture below).

In the 1990's the mill became very run down and unused but was saved by being refurbished and converted into what are now very popular apartments, half of which have a canal view. This conversion encompassed the restoration of the clerestory windows on the roof one of which was destroyed in a serious fire in 1967. The other blessing has been the retention of the very fine cast iron balustrade along the eave line. This somehow got missed in WWII - perhaps no-one fancied climbing up to cut it off. The stair tower on the left hand end is a modern fire safety requirement replacing a lower part of the original mill. Notice half way along the ground floor an archway - this was the entrance to the internal wharf where boats could be unloaded under cover directly into the mill.

The towpath along this section of canal was the subject of an improvement project in the early 2000s which was jointly developed by British Waterways and Macclesfield Borough Council. This was begun after the canal society pointed out how run down the canal corridor through the town had become. It is one of the largest and most heavily used recreational areas in the town and was in desperate need of improvement. A further project (2005-2008) expects to support the restoration of the fabric of the boiler house at the far end as well as improve access to the canal from Buxton Road which crosses at the extreme right of the picture, bridge 37.