The Macclesfield canal was the last and most technically advanced of the British canals. It was completed in 1831. Just two years later, work began on two equally modern mule mills for the production of cotton

The Swindells family of Bollington built the Clarence and Adelphi cotton mills both powered by steam. Over the next thirty years the buildings and steam engines were upgraded so that they remained at the forefront of cotton production.

The mills were bought by the Fine Cotton Spinners and Doublers Association as the mills were drawn together into more viable units.

In the sixties Courtaulds recognised that their core business of rayon manufacture was vulnerable and so went about acquiring mills to achieve a measure of vertical integration. They used the Bollington mills to manufacture seat belts and crane straps.

Both mills are now in multiple occupation and appear in good condition standing proudly alongside the canal they once used. They are only two miles along the canal from Astra-Zeneca’s second largest manufacturing plant just outside Macclesfield.