Reddish Vale Country Park

Print Works Auction 

arrow reddish vale country park, calico print works auction web1820-auction-2

In 1780 Mr Frances started a small printing works in the Vale.

The buisness failed and over the next sixty or so years the Print works was owned by a series of people.


Around 1787 the Print Works were owned by a Mr Small, his venture also failed.

With the location of the Vale being ideal for bleaching and printing, with plentiful supplys of soft clean well water along with water from the river and close to the Stockport and Manchester Markets meant there were buisness men who could see an opportunity here.


On the 24th August 1805 the Print Works were up for sale or to let.

The new erected printing works called Strines at Brinnington.

These works have a fall of between 7 and 8 feet of whole of the river Tame, raised by a weir and brought to the works by a canal over 1000 yards long to buildings of great dimensions. The works are on the Lancashire side of the river across which there is an excellent ford and bridge. These works are considered by good judges of printing as complete as any in the Kingdom.


On wednesday 25th October 1820 at the hour of 5 in the afternoon, the Print Works were up for auction in two lots.

The owner Mr Thomas Thorp had gone bankrupt. The newspaper clipping on the right shows the extent to which the Print Works had expanded.

The sale included;

The complete and extensive printing and bleaching works,

Wood End or Top works with two excellent dwelling houses,

eighteen cottages and about 50 Lancashire Acres of land also a dwelling house well calculated for a family residence with the gardens stocked with choice fruit trees and suitable offices and conveniences now in the occupation of Robert Addison.


The Print Works Buildings included;

A large brick building containing printing rooms and store drying rooms, cooling rooms and all requisite wash houses and dye houses.

Another building containing a color shop, 2 print block shops, cutting room and a copperas house.

Another building containing a shell room and madder house.

Another building containing a blue dipping house and a drying room above it.

Another building containing a drug room, cutting house and measuring house with air drying rooms above.


Madder House?

Madder (below, common madder) is a native British plant used in the dyeing industry to produce a red dye. The roots of the plant are heated and then pulverized to extract the dye.

Copperass house?

Iron (II) sulphate (below) was used to produce an indigo dye, called copperas. It was developed in England in the eighteenth century and remained in use well into the nineteenth century, also known as China Blue.

webRubia.tinctorum02 webIron(II)-sulfate-heptahy

Common Madder

Iron Sulphate