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The Grade II listed Beehive Mill can be found to the north of Manchester’s city centre, in Ancoats. The mill dates to the early 1820’s, with the nameplate above the entrance (pictured above) added during its second phase of construction. At the time, Ancoats was the cradle of the industrial revolution, and it has been suggested that the name is reference to the “hive” of activity that would be taking place inside the building. In any case, the naming of the mill is an early use of bee imagery in Manchester, predating the bees of Manchester’s coat of arms by about 20 years.

The mill was famously home to Sankeys nightclub, until the building was sold in January 2017 and it was announced that the club would close permanently.

There are actually a number of similarly-named mills across the region. The nearest, Bee Hive Works, was built by the Co-operative Wholesale Society in Droylsden, with a similarly-named office block next door. Another can currently be found in Bolton. Dating back to 1895 and 1902, the Grade II listed mill is soon to be demolished to make way for 120 houses.

Further afield, a single-storey mill can be found in Darwen, built around the turn of the 20th century. Hebden Bridge’s Beehive Mill is home for a not-for-profit training and resources centre. Finally, a Bee Mill can be found in Ribchester, all the way up in the Ribble Valley.