Local History: how did Chrome Hill, Lambeg, get its name? The scientific connection!

Chrome Hill Lambeg

The magnificent Chrome Hill, Lambeg, overlooks Wolfenden’s Bridge, and was formerly known as Harmony Hill or Lambeg House. The property is an original 17th-century home, with 18th and 19th-century additions. One important resident of the house was the Manchester businessman Richard Niven (d.1866). He owned an extensive cotton printworks at Lambeg, where he pioneered a method of printing coloured cotton. According to Alexander Knox: he invented ‘a method of fixing colours known as ‘Bi Chrome’, a term he applied when renaming the house ‘Chrome Hill’ (1875). Samuel Lewis (1849) notes that at Lambeg Nevin ‘established here some extensive works for printing muslin in which he first applied with success his invention of the Ba Chrome now universally used and also introduced the oxyde of chrome into the ornamental department of the china manufacture from which circumstance he named his estate’.

Historian Gilbert Watson has pointed out that the Niven crest is mounted on the pediment above the front door.