1785 Established by David Holt, and described as the only known example of a factory colony in Manchester, that is, an isolated mill complex with housing for the workers.
1794 Mills advertised for sale following the bankruptcy of David Holt and Company.
Things, as we know, have a tendency to come and go – ’twas ever thus.
A whole history of the area can be found here.
River Medlock Holt Town
The area has seen a transition, in some two hundred year or more, from a leafy rural idyll, to smoke choked industrial hell and back again.
Photographs from the Manchester Image Archive.
In 2014 I visited the site of the former Distillers Company, later Air Liquide UK, production had ceased. The factory was just about standing, litter and detritus strewn, unloved and unwanted, temporary home to the homeless.
The Industrial Revolution has been and gone – bye bye.
There are plans for redevelopment, couched in the terms of the professional new-speak of the new urban renewalists.
The international design competition for Holt Town looked for a solution to the dilemma of providing a sustainable, distinctive, high density family-led residential community in close proximity of the Manchester regional centre.
Promising open green spaces and housing based on the traditional European perimeter block model, not a mention of a mill.
Possibly lasting a little longer than David Holt’s dream, and subsequent manifestations.