Archaeological Dig at Kibboth Crew, Ramsbottom

 A Fulling Mill Site Dating Back To 1628

The Dig

The dig took place for 3 weeks in April and May 2007. 

49 volunteers were supervised by The University of Manchester Archaeology Unit,


Private Land

Please note that the dig at Kibboth Crew is on private land and there is therefore no access to the mill. However there is a public footpath running uphill past the site, from which it can be viewed.


The dig site is number 93


A brief history of the mill


                       1628                Fulling mill at Kibboth Crew


1710                999 year lease created for Kibboth Crew


After 1850       The mill and reservoir were enlarged or rebuilt

                        A steam engine may have been installed at this time


Between 1861 and 1871    It is likely that fulling ceased and the mill closed


1894                Destruction of the building by the dam burst



This is a 400 year old site …..

   …dating back to c.1628 it is the oldest known industrial site in Ramsbottom. On this site was a water powered fulling mill, where felt was made.

The building which was excavated was a later fulling mill (c 1850-1870) with a large water wheel pit, stone engine mountings, boiler house, and a flag floor with culverts beneath.  There was also a rectangular room, the purpose of which is not known. Trenches through this floor showed earlier stages of the mill buildings.

The mill has a fascinating history …..

   …which has been revealed in contemporary newspaper articles, rates evaluations, censuses and maps. The Manchester Mercury advertised the sale of Kibboth Crew with its house and two mills in 1778, and the 1842 Tithe map and schedule show that it was later owned by William Grant.  Maps indicate that between 1850 and 1893 there were major developments on this site. The mill itself increased in size and in number of buildings, and the two small millponds were merged to form a single lodge with a dam, the remains of which are still visible today. It is possible that a steam engine was also installed at this time. It is likely that Fulling ceased before 1871 and that the building may have been empty after this time.

Destruction of the building

   ...occurred on  Friday 16th March 1894 when the dam burst at 5.15 in the morning and the building collapsed. Dramatic eyewitness accounts appeared in the Ramsbottom Observer and the Bury Times describing the death of Mary Hill who was swept away in the catastrophe.




Click here for more photographs of the dig


CD of the Dig

The CD gives the story of the dig and what was found, and a detailed history of the mill at Kibboth Crew.

There are around 70 photographs of the excavation and the volunteers.

The CD costs £3,50 and is available from the Heritage Society