Rare find opens a window on lost Eden building's history

The banknote issued in the early 19th Century

The banknote issued in the early 19th Century

First published in News The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

THE long history of a now demolished Eden building has been uncovered by an intrepid antiques seller.

Andrew Aindow, joint-owner of Sleddall Hall Antiques at Wildman Street, Kendal, took to the internet after a customer inquired about a building which features on a rare banknote issued in the early 19th Century by a bank in Kirkby Stephen.

It led him on a timeline of discovery.

“I’ve always had an interest in bank notes and coins with the shop,” said Andrew, whose family-run business has been in Kendal for 60 years.

“The man who brought it in didn’t recognise the building so I began looking into it and it led me down lots of interesting paths.”

The note was issued by the Bank of Kirkby Stephen, which was founded in 1807 by John Dand, a manufacturer from Carlisle.

The bank folded the following year but the building still had an interesting future ahead.

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“The building depicted on the banknote was the old Kirkby Stephen Cotton Mill, to the north of St Stephen’s Church,” said Andrew.

“The bankruptcy of John Dand allowed Richard Aislabie to move his academy from Vicarage House to the mill. He renamed it Eden Hall in 1809 and it was later to be called Eden House.”

Andrew added that it appeared the building was in multiple occupation as Eden Hall and was later taken over by the Gilbert Union for poor relief. In 1818, following the closure of the academy, a section became the Kirkby Stephen Workhouse known locally as ‘The Factory’.

In 1827 part of the mill was let to John Henry Wilson of Manchester for millinery, silks and cotton manufacturing.

The building served the community for about 150 years but was demolished when the Christian Head retirement home and Briar-cote flats were built.

Anyone with memories, or photographs of the building, can email robert@aindow .wanadoo.co.uk

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