SJ9273 : Hovis Mill, Macclesfield Canal

taken 6 years ago, near to Hurdsfield, Cheshire, Great Britain

Hovis Mill, Macclesfield Canal
Hovis Mill, Macclesfield Canal
This former flour mill, on the canalside at Macclesfield, was the original home of Hovis™ flour. It was originally built in 1831 for a canal carrying company. In 1898 the mill was bought by the flour millers who founded the Hovis Bread Flour Company.

Stoney Richard Smith conceived the idea of extracting the highly nutritious wheatgerm from the wheat, lightly cooking it to preserve the nutrients, then putting back into the flour many times more wheatgerm than it originally contained. This flour was known as 'Smith's Patent Germ Flour' and the bread produced from it 'Smith's Patent Germ Bread'. Smith patented his process In October I887 and teamed with a firm of millers in Macclesfield, S. Fitton & Sons Ltd, joining their Board.

The less cumbersome name “Hovis”, a contraction of the Latin couplet 'Homonis Vis' (the strength of man) was adopted and registered as a Trade Mark in 1890. The Name of the company was changed to 'The Hovis Bread Flour Company' in 1898 and ‘Hovis Limited' was launched as a public company in 1918. The Hovis™ Trade Mark is registered throughout the world. Only bakers who used this flour to make their bread could sell the loaf as Hovis™.

Flour was milled at the Hovis Mill in Macclesfield from 1898 to 1904. However, the product was so successful that the milling only took place here for 6 years, by which time it was necessary to move to larger premises as the business had outgrown the mill and was moved to Trafford Park in Manchester. However, this mill was retained for the production of the paper wrappers in which the loaves are commonly sold.

By the 1990s the mill had become unused and dilapidated but was saved from demolition; being refurbished and converted into residential apartments.

LinkExternal link A potted history of Hovis™
LinkExternal link The Macclesfield Canal
The Macclesfield Canal
One of the last narrow canals to be built the canal was approved by Act of Parliament in April 1826. Thomas Telford surveyed the canal and construction was engineered by William Crosley. The completed canal was opened on 9th November 1831 at a cost of £320,000.00. The canal was bought out by the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincoln Railway in 1847. With nationalisation in 1947 it passed to the Docks & Inland Waterways Board with commercial carrying finishing only in the 1960's shortly before British Waterways was formed. The canal runs from Marple Junction with the Peak Forest Canal in the north 26¼ miles to the stop lock at Hall Green near Kidsgrove. The canal is noted for its six fine change or snake bridges where the tow-path changes sides of the canal. These bridges were designed to allow the horse to move over without having to untie it from the boat. Thanks to Telford's design for commercial traffic the Macclesfield Canal has a very shallow and tapered bottom. The deep channel is just wide enough for two boats to pass in the centre making mooring other than at wharves 'challenging'.
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SJ9273, 108 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Wednesday, 3 October, 2012   (more nearby)
Friday, 5 October, 2012
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Housing, Dwellings  City, Town centre  Industry  Canals 
Canal (from Tags)
Macclesfield Canal 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 9244 7336 [10m precision]
WGS84: 53:15.4314N 2:6.8868W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 9246 7330
View Direction
North-northwest (about 337 degrees)
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Other Tags
Canal  Marina  19th Century  Nineteenth Century  Converted Mill  Hovis  Flour Mill  Mill Chimney  Apartments  Industrial Heritage  Narrow Boats  Narrowboats 

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Image classification(about): Geograph
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