“In 1819, Rylands & Sons were established with their seat of operations being in Wigan.
John, the youngest partner, occupied himself with travelling over several counties for orders until 1823, when he opened a warehouse for the firm in Manchester. Business increased rapidly, and in the course of a few years extensive properties at Wigan, along with dye works and bleach works, were purchased. Valuable seams of coal were afterwards discovered under these properties, and proved a great source of wealth to the purchasers.
From 1847, John Rylands became sole proprietor of the company owing to the death of his father and retirement of his brothers around 1839. Designed by George Woodhouse in 1866, Rylands Mill was built and had served the local population for work until the overall demise of the textile industry had taken it’s toll across the country.
In 1985 it became an annexe to Wigan Technical College and became better known as the Pagefield Building until closure in 2007. The façade along the front was repointed and boasts some wonderful brick pattern work, this mill being the most expensive around at the time it was built. It is now on the top 10 endangered building list in the UK.”
Explored: May 2018