TEXTILE MILLS OF SOUTH WEST ENGLAND. HISTORIC BUILDINGS AND LANDSCAPES OF THE SOUTH WEST TEXTILE INDUSTRY
The textile industry has been one of the most prolonged and widespread influences on the development of historic buildings in the South West. The regional industry pre-dated the classic period of the Industrial Revolution by several centuries, resulting in distinctive types of vernacular buildings, industrial buildings, townscapes and landscapes, all contrasting with those in other areas. The work builds on the previous RCHME studies of textile mills and a wide range of more recent reports and publications by EH and others. The book provides a wide-reaching analysis of historical context, an account of the origins and development of each of the industries, an interpretation of the distinctive features of the buildings, a clarification of the historical importance of South West textile mills and clear statements on the benefits of their conservation. A range of topics is introduced to enable the reader to appreciate the national significance of the regions textile industries, including a general introduction to textile processes and the historical importance of the factory system, together with an initial overview of the main industries. The core of the book deals with the industries in detail, each chapter providing historical context followed by an account of the distinctive features of the buildings based on descriptions of representative examples. The final chapter emphasises the tradition of re-use and conversion in the South West textile industries, encourages the continued adaptation and conservation of both mills and related townscapes, and concludes with new statements on national significance and comparisons with other regions.