Masson Mills was Richard Arkwright’s ideal mill. It is built of red brick which was much more impressive. He had already made the greater part of his wealth and he wanted to show it off and still make more money of course.
Today you can take a factory tour here, visit the museum or do what we did, go shopping. Now granted, I can’t tell you how good the deals are any other time but in this first full week of January, there were plenty of bargains to be had.
Edinburgh Woolen Mills has a large shop at Masson Mills. All the things they sell aren’t wool, they have cashmere as well. Now I am allergic to wool and I can’t wear cashmere either but neither of these things applies to our friend Joe. He was looking for cashmere, he really wanted a red sweater with a crew neck, and unfortunately red was only V neck. He settled for a beautiful blue sweater. In American dollars about $150, not cheap but for the quality of the garment, a decent buy.
While he and Al were poking around the men’s department and trying on hats and belts, I headed for the food department, big surprise there! They had an excellent collection of Walker Shortbread products as well as mince pies (left over from Christmas) and other sweet treats. They also had a wall full of jellies, jams and chutneys. There were plenty of choices with or without good Scotch whiskey. Speaking of Scotch Whiskey they had a very nice liquor department including some ale.
On the lower floor was the woman’s section of Edinburgh Mills and the shoe department. I did some serious looking but I wasn’t quite up for trying to figure out what size shoe I would wear in England, it is totally different than in the states. Meanwhile, Al had decided he wanted to get two belts for £8 which is a bargain on either side of the pond. Joe also bought a Sherlock Holmes type hat which actually looked rather good on him. Al however, had no luck finding a hat. Least you think I bought nothing, I did buy a really cute magnet for my friend Jackie.
On the upper floor at Masson Mills there are a lot of designer clothes and actually a designer by the name of Iz, not me of course but I was almost tempted. More shops and a restaurant are located at the river level. I was amazed to see that they sell Yankee Candles here. Good old New England ingenuity has made it to England.
Masson Mill has its own parking lot but it isn’t free, you pay when you park and if you spend a certain amount of money, you get a refund on your ticket. We had an excellent time here and I would allow anywhere from an hour to two hours just for shopping, more if you want to take the tour or look through the museum.