Manningham Mill on the north side of Bradford, with a floor space of 11 ha and a chimney 78 m tall, is one of the most imposing textile factories in Europe. It was designed in the Italianate style by the Bradford architects Andrews & Pepper for Samuel Cunliffe Lister (1815-1906), a powerful figure in the Yorkshire textile industry, inventory of the nip comb for straightening wool fibres before spinning, and of system for utilising silk waste, and a philanthropist who gave Lister Park to the citizens of Bradford. The mill was used for the production of various fabrics.
Lister was initially concerned with worsted but also worked with silk. He established his first mill at Manningham in 1838, but it was destroyed by fire and the present mill was built in 1871. It was one of several that he owned in the West Riding of Yorkshire, which were supplied with coal from Ackton Colliery, that was also his property. Manningham Mill was said to consume some 50,000 tons of coal per year. Lister experienced difficulties in industrial relations. There was a celebrated strike at the mill in 1890-91, which required the intervention of the army, and the surface installations at Ackton colliery were destroyed in the miners’ strike of 1893.
In the 1950s and 60s many migrants from India and Pakistan were attracted to work in the mill, but it proved less and less viable and production ceased in the 1980s.
The mill is a Grade II* listed building. The Manningham Mills Community Association was formed in 1995 to agitate for the adaptation of the building to new uses, and a programme of developing apartments, shops and community facilities has now begun.