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Ditherington Mill and the Industrial Revolution

Front cover for Ditherington Mill and the Industrial Revolution

Hardback by Colum Giles, Mike Williams

£50.00

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Ditherington Mill in Shrewsbury is rightly celebrated as having the first iron-framed building in the world. Its highly innovative structure provided a fireproof environment for industrial processes and is a predecessor of the technologies that today pepper our cities with skyscrapers. Around the Spinning Mill other early buildings have also survived, which together make the complex a remarkable example of a textile mill from the new generation of steam-powered factories that were changing the face of Britain at the close of the 18th century.

The conversion to a maltings in 1897 gave the mill a new lease of life and added further significant buildings to the Shrewsbury skyline. When malting ceased in 1987 the future of the site became an issue of great concern, not only to students of industrial architecture but also to local people who had worked in the maltings or for whom the site had become a familiar landmark in their everyday lives.

Historic England believes that a detailed understanding of Ditherington Mill's past should be a cornerstone of its future conservation and adaptation. Since its closure, archaeologists and historians have examined every aspect of this internationally significant industrial site. This research has investigated the innovative technologies employed to create the factory's buildings and has cast light on the people - some of national renown, others now all but forgotten - responsible for the mill's construction and operation. The story which has emerged is a rich one and is summarised in this book, the publication of which is a further demonstration of a collective commitment to securing the site's future.

Contents

  1. Ditherington Mill: an introduction
  2. The Linen Industry in Great Britain: history, products, processes and location
  3. Shrewsbury in the 18th and 19th centuries: industry and culture
  4. Building the Mill
  5. Innovation and Experimentation: Ditherington and the development of the iron-framed mill
  6. Steam Power at Ditherington Mill
  7. Ditherington Mill at Work
  8. The Gasworks and Gas Lighting at Ditherington Mill
  9. The Workforce in the 19th century
  10. Mill into Maltings
  11. Ditherington Rescued

Additional Information

  • Printed Price: £50.00
  • Series: Architectural History
  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Format: Hardback
  • Physical Size: 276 x 219 mm
  • Pages: 172
  • Illustration: 118, colour
  • ISBN: 9781848021181

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Ditherington Mill image gallery

Please click on the gallery images to enlarge.

  • The east elevation of the Spinning Mill in 2002
  • The Apprentice House
  • The Longdon-on-Tern aqueduct on Thomas Telford’s Shrewsbury Canal
  • The Spinning Mill has an unusual roof with inclined brick vaults springing from cast-iron beams
  • End labels for thread bobbins, as sold by Marshalls in the 1880s
  • Tower on the north end of the Spinning Mill which contained grain elevators for transferring sprouting malt from the malt floors to the Kiln
  • Ditherington Mill in the 1940s and the disused canal clearly visible
  • The derelict maltings in 2006
  • The Spinning Mill was fully scaffolded both inside and out during urgent repair works

Related publications

Next steps

  • Historic England is working in partnership with Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings and Shropshire Council to secure the future of this historic site. Once completed, the buildings will provide a mixed use development with community, residential and commercial facilities.

    Find out more about the partnership

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