Word of the Day


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Origin of the word

The adverb rapidly dates back to the 1630s. It is derived from the adjective rapid with the suffix -ly. Rapid comes from the French adjective ‘rapide’ and ultimately from the Latin ‘rapidus’ meaning ‘swiftly moving’ or ‘quick’.


Rapidly is an adverb that refers to an event that happens very quickly.

According to preservation charity Historic England, a number of the nation’s historically significant textile mills are disappearing at an alarming rate. These mills helped shape the history and landscape of many towns throughout the north of England, but are rapidly falling into ruin and disrepair.

Historic England says that despite the rapidly declining number of mill properties, public support for saving these historic landmarks remains strong. In a recently published report, the charity surveyed more than 2,000 people, with nearly 85% of respondents saying they wished to see historic properties saved.

For centuries, textile mills were a driving force behind the industrial revolution, spurring technical innovation and trade, while employing hundreds of thousands of people and shaping the culture of northern England. In the 20th century, the textile industry rapidly began to fail, forcing many mills to shutter their doors forever. These buildings have sat vacant for decades, falling victim to vandalism, fires and time. More than 100 separate fires since 2010 have destroyed historic mills in Bradford, West Yorkshire. In Greater Manchester, nearly half of its mill properties have been lost since 1980, with 66% gone in Salford alone.

Historic England hopes their report will inspire developers and property owners to consider the immense potential these buildings offer, and advocates for conversion over demolition.

Many historic mills all over the north have already been successfully converted for other uses, preserved for future generations. The 1926 Holden Mill in Bolton has been made into residential apartments, the 1836 Castleton Mills in Leeds has been transformed into offices and studio space, and the 1823 Holmes Mill in Lancashire has been converted to a shopping and entertainment venue.


1. happening, moving, or acting quickly
View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

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