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History Barbour Mill has a long and prestigious history in Lisburn and as the end of an era draws near many local people will be recalling their own memories of Barbour Threads. In 1784 John Barbour, who hailed from Scotland, established a linen thread works in Lisburn. At the same time his son, William, bought a derelict bleach green at Hilden and set up business. Later, the thread works were transferred to Hilden and as early as 1817 it was employing 122 workers. In 1823 William Barbour bought a former bleach mill at Hilden and built a water-powered twisting mill. The Linen Thread Company was founded 1898 and it quickly became a large international company. In fact it became the largest linen thread mill in the world, giving Lisburn a richly deserved international reputation. By 1914 it employed about 2,000 people and until recently some 300 workers were still employed there, with the work- force dropping to just 85 in recent years. Among the company's varied products were nets, which could be made into snares and fishing nets. The company built a model village for its workforce in Hilden, which consisted of 350 houses, two schools, a community hall, children's playground and village sports ground. Lisburn became the envy of the world thanks to its Linen and Thread industry and now the last remnant of that history is to close its doors for the last time. The Explore Although I think we were about 6 years too late with this one. This was somewhere I have wanted to go for quite some time but with other commitments and other places to explore while in NI it always got shoved to the back seat. This trip we finally got to go, explored with @hamtagger we had quite a leisurely stroll round this one. The first thing I noticed when getting close was how it was becoming crowded with new housing and developments. Still, it sits proud within its place. A bit of the site has already been demolished. The place is bloody massive! It is easiest the biggest site I have been to. Spending numerous hours there and still not getting around the whole site led us to leave before darkness fell. The architecture was pretty impressive with the stonework and iron gables or whatever you call them. Surprisingly, despite being closed several years and falling victim to vandalism, graffiti & metal theft it still has so much to offer. There were little cupboards dotted about in most sections with linen/ thread materials. Loads of hand painted signs that were of little importance but I like stuff like that. The decay was pretty cool and I loved how trees were growing out of the top floors. Nature really was reclaiming it. A few of the ceilings had fallen in with those areas a bit more decayed than others. Right on to the pics The whole site (not my pic) Some old advertising material I found online 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 (I swear this hasn't been edited at all!) 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 Thanks for looking!