Greater Manchester archeological dig unearths remains of Victorian Mill near town hall

The dig in Rochdale has revealed some interesting finds

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A detailed archaeological dig in Rochdale has uncovered the remains of a Victorian corn mill. Around 450 volunteers, trainees and residents from across the local area joined archaeologists from the University of Salford as part of the Big Dig 2, which finished on August 5 on the Broadfield Slopes.

The mill is one of several interesting finds by the team, with a weighing station also discovered by the excavators. The ‘Charles Kershaw Central Corn Mill’ is thought to date from the mid 1800s. 

The event is also part of a number of public activities which have been put on as part of the wider redevelopment of Rochdale Town Hall, which is due to reopen soon, following a multi-million pound restoration project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the council.

Councillor Janet Emsley, cabinet member for equity, safety and reform, said: “This dig has been another example of the wonderful community spirit which has characterised the project to redevelop Rochdale Town Hall as a whole, with so many participants and volunteers getting stuck in. So many people, from all age groups, have shown a passion for uncovering the history of their town, and I myself have enjoyed digging up the past with my grandchildren, who were thrilled by the experience.”

 Dr Colin Elder, from the University of Salford, said: “This site would have been a hive of activity in the industrial period, with people who would have worked in the corn mill living in houses, now long gone, which lined the steps which run up the Slopes to St Chad’s Church.

Rochdale Borough Council digRochdale Borough Council dig
Rochdale Borough Council dig

“We’ve also found part of a public weighing station, where people, including merchants, would have gone to check whether they had been sold the right amount of cotton, wool or, in this case, probably corn.”