Unique Shopping Experience. Just off junction 27 on the M6, Bygone
Times is the ideal shopping destination and a great day out for all
Times Ghost Trail
BYGONE TIMES OF ECCLESTON CHORLEY
A BRIEF (GHOSTLY) HISTORY.
Grove Mill (Bygone Times) is situated in the area of Eccleston known
as The Green. The Parliamentarians used The Green as a temporary
army encampment in April 1643, after the siege of Lathom during the
English Civil War. The army was under the command of Colonel
Alexander Rigby, they were later defeated by royalist forces at
The Grove Mill site is an early rural industrial location and was in
use in the 17th cent, for woollen processing, a corn mill (Brookes
Mill) was also in production by the 18th cent. Millbrook House and
the cobbled alleyway (which you passed on your way in) date from
this earlier period and still remain as part of the Bygone Times
site today. Millbrook House is situated at the far end of Byg 1 and
is used nowadays as our main offices, it is home now to 4 members of
staff but has been home for a number of years to 3 ghosts, as
you can imagine it can get quite crowded down there after dark. In
the 1830s a calico printing works was erected, the premises were
known as Syd Brook Grove Works, powered by two large waterwheels on
the works lodge. The owner was a Thomas Bentley, upon whose death in
1844 the business was sold on to become part of a cotton mill
complex when Grove Mill was built in 1845.
Cotton spinning production at Grove Mill was to increase under the
ownership of John Jacob Smalley (trading as John Smalley, Sykes
& Co.) in the 1850s and by 1861 the mill was employing 300
workers in both spinning and weaving production. The Wesleyans had a
meeting room in a weaving shed in the mill until 1863 when their own
chapel was ready for occupancy. This meeting room is home to 2
ghosts in the guise of 2 unruly children playing outside said
A serious fire at the mill in September 1875 destroyed the
preparation and spinning facilities including valuable machinery and
mill buildings. A number of families who worked at Grove Mill are
recorded as having left the village because of layoffs after the
In 1884 Grove Mill was purchased for the princely sum of £1,150
from John & Herbert Howarth by Mr Ibzan Sagar and his business
partner. Unfortunately the business very soon ran into financial
difficulties, having to honour contracts with the Howarths suppliers
and paying above market price for yarn. However help was at hand
when Carrington & Woods purchased the mill appointing Ibzan
Sagar as manager on a salary of 35/- per week. This was to seal a
great future not only for Grove Mill but the future prosperity of
In 1895 the firm became Carington & Dewhursts with Grove Mill
and New Mill (now the Carrington Centre) being the largest rayon
weaving mills in the world after the merger with Viyella in 1970.
During World War 11 parachutes were manufactured at Grove Mill for
British Airborne Forces.
Leonora Carrington the surrealist artist was a member of the
Carrington family who found recognition within the art world for her
extraordinary paintings, having become a devotee and companion to
Max Ernst during the 1930s. She continues to paint and has lived in
Mexico since the 1950s.
Grove mill ceased production of textiles in the early 1980s and some
older parts of the mill were demolished, whilst some areas were let
as industrial units. In the late 1980s a business consortium, which
included Mr John Rigby and the present owner Mr Tim Knowles, began
to re-develop the mill into Bygone Times, the antiques and
collectors centre we know it as today.
Bygone Times was named thus because it was to house antiquities from
days and eras gone by, when the current owners purchased the site
there was no knowing that the site came with added extras, spirits
of workers from days and eras gone by.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON GHOSTS WHO ROAM OUR MILL, WHAT THEY DID IN A
PREVIOUS LIFE AND IN SOME CASES THEIR NAME SEE OUR GHOST FINDER
CUSTOMERS OF A NERVOUS DISPOSITION NEED NOT PARTAKE IN OUR GHOST
(JUST MAKE SURE YOU'RE ACCOMPANIED AROUND THE MILL AFTER DARK)
the Bygone Times Team
If you would like to contact one of the Bygone Times Team feel free
to contact us on any of the details below.
Tel: 01257 451889
Fax: 01257 451090
forward to hearing from you and hope to see you soon at Bygone Times
of Eccleston Chorley.