Back in 1791 that meant heavy industry, in the guise of a textile mill built to harness the power of fast-flowing Cairn Beck, a tributary of the River Eden.
Revolutionary in its design and innovation, the three-storey mill with its warehouses and dye plants was a world away from the traditional farming industry which had occupied this part of north Cumbria for centuries.
It brought jobs and it brought prosperity. The mill became the focal point of an entire community, with housing, schools and even a church for its employees. It drew in workers from across the Carlisle area.
And, over the next 200 years, successive owners ensured that progress would not pass it by.