Good morning, we are going to continue with our Thirty-One days of the Time Team for October, and let us throw it back to an episode from series 13 and the history of the Industrial Revolution in Manchester. The run time for this episode is 48:47.
Underneath a car park in Manchester lies the remains of a mill. Manchester was a powerhouse in the cotton industry and it was a city that had a lot of mills. In 1780, the first cotton mill in Manchester was built and was built by Richard Arkwright. It housed the first steam engines. It is now buried under a car park. The Time Team has three days to discover and recover one of Britain’s most important historic sites. Will the Time Team find the mill?
Tony catches up with Francis Pryor, Phil Harding, and a local historian. There was a layer of cobblestones found on the site and these stones come from a layer that would have been the mill yard. There was plenty of documentation and maps that show the mill, however, they are unreliable. Mike Nevell, the local historians talk about how the site developed and that there may be multiple buildings on the site. These different buildings would demonstrate the different phases of development. Mike is optimistic about finding the mill. Phil is thrilled with the dig, Tony points out that Phil likes prehistory. Phil replies that this site is the prehistory of the Industrial Revolution.
Trench One goes in and it is hoped that at least one side of the mill. A mill built in the Victorian Era was destroyed during the Blitz and the site has not been rebuilt. As the asphalt is removed, Phil discovers a wall. The trench is expanded and more of the wall is revealed. Tony catches up with Mike and talks about the history of Manchester while looking at a map from the 1700s.
The Mill would have had an impact on the country. The mill would have been a boom for Manchester and would have shocked the people who saw it. People across the country came to Manchester to see the mill as if it was a tourist attraction. This mill was the start of the Industrial Revolution. Richard Arkwright, who built the man, was the father of the factory system in Britain. He was a socially awkward man but grew wealthy through business.
Back at the car park, Phil strongly believes that he has found a mill wall. Francis is skeptical that what was found is a wall. Phil says he will find the proof that he found the wall of the mill. Trench two goes in over the middle of the mill. The Time Team is going to find where the mill was powered. However, as they dig, they are finding fire-scarred bricks. The mills were vulnerable to fire. Additionally, there were broken clay pipes found on the site. The workers would have been puffing on those pipes while they worked. There were plenty of fires that happened in the mills at Manchester. These mills would have burned down and would have been rebuilt.
The mills caused the population in Manchester to explode. This population explosion leads to horrible living conditions in Manchester. Karl Marx would have visited his mate Fredrich Engels in Manchester. Here they would discuss the working and living conditions for the workers. Tony catches up with Helen Geake about Marx’s writing. Stewart is on the job as well, working on a survey on the site. He is working with Helen to look into the living conditions of the workers.
The Time Team starts recording their findings. They have discovered a door and a wall from the original mill that was built by Arkwright. Additionally there are sites for the mill engine. Will Phil prove that he is right about the wall? What else will the Time Team find out about the mill? Tune into this episode to find out more.
This was an interesting Time Team. The archaeology was fantastic for the site and it gave a glimpse into the history of the Industrial Revolution. This would be a second good episode to show while teaching the history of the Industrial Revolution.
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