Healings Flour Mill and Warehouses
- Heritage Category:
- Listed Building
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Statutory Address:
- Back Of Avon, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, GL20 5BA
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- Statutory Address:
- Back Of Avon, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, GL20 5BA
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Tewkesbury (District Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
A flour mill of 1865 with warehouses of 1870s and 1880s dates.
Reasons for Designation
Healings Flour Mill and Warehouses are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
Architectural interest: * the buildings are a good example of an increasingly rare survival, a large-scale flour milling operation dating from 1865; * the mill and warehouses are neatly designed using quality materials and with detailing that creates an architectural statement of some distinction in terms of industrial buildings, despite alterations.
Historic interest: * as one of the two key historic milling sites on the Avon in Tewkesbury along with the Abbey Mill (listed at Grade II*); * Healings is a valuable reminder of Tewkesbury's historic importance as a regional agricultural centre.
Group value: * with other Grade II listed buildings in this part of Tewkesbury, including the Healings Warehouse with which it has an historic functional link and the Iron Bridge which provides the mill with its access to and from the town.
The former Borough Flour Mills at Tewkesbury, also known as Healings Flour Mills, is located by the River Avon with the Mill Avon passing to its east. There appears to be a long history of milling on the site and it was possibly where two mills were recorded in Domesday, and referred to as the town mills in the early C13. The two town mills were granted to Edward Hazlewood and Edward Tomlinson in 1581 and a mill referred to as Mr Blackburn’s Mill is recorded in 1733. Mill buildings are shown on the Borough Flour Mills site on the 1825 map of Tewkesbury and the bridge constructed 1822 across the Mill Avon to Quay Street (listed as Iron Bridge at Grade II) is also marked. The site is called The Quay on an 1840 enclosure map, by which time further mill buildings had been constructed.
By 1865 the mill was in the ownership of Samuel Healing, who rebuilt it as a steam-powered roller mill in 1865-6. Around the same time a brewery (listed at Grade II) was built on the east side of the Iron Bridge, on the corner of Quay Street, to a similar architectural treatment as the mill and was later used for flour storage as the Healings Warehouse. The new mill and its warehouses are shown on the Ordnance Survey Map of 1884. The mill building is at the north of the site with a railway to the mill quay running to its south across the widened Iron Bridge. Grain was brought to the quay by barges from Avonmouth. The warehouse building directly to the south of the tracks was connected via an upper level bridge to the mill. A further bridge is shown on the south side of the warehouse, connecting to buildings that may have dated from the earlier mill. Those buildings were replaced from 1889 by further warehouses built against the earlier warehouse, possibly built in two phases. The new arrangement is shown as a large single building on the Second Edition Ordnance Survey Map of 1902. Structural issues in the 1889 building appear to have led to their interior adaptation and strengthening. Subsequently, the flour processing operation was altered and flour pumped via overhead pipes across the Mill Avon to the former brewery across the river.
Further mill buildings were replaced and extended to the west of the site in the 1930s and later. In the 1970s a change of ownership saw the refitting of the plant and machinery in the mill, which involved the adaptation of the internal floors and roof structure. A new brick range was constructed alongside the rear (west) wall of the mill. Other structures relating to milling activity, including grain silos, were built on the site in the later C20 and new equipment installed in the warehouses. The site was partially cleared of C20 structures and some of the plant and machinery to both the mill and warehouse were removed following the closure of the mill in 2006.
A former flour mill of 1865-6 date constructed by W H James of Tewkesbury for Samuel Healing and Son; with later-C19 warehouses.
MATERIALS: constructed of red brick with blue brick and stone dressings. The main roofs are covered in slate tiles. The mill building has floors constructed of cast-iron and steel, and supported on cast-iron and steel columns. The floors to the warehouses appear to be of reinforced concrete and steel, and steel frame to the rear. The metal casements have glazing bars and central hinged panes.
PLAN: the mill is rectangular on plan and of five storeys and attic. Attached to the rear is a rectangular extension of 1970s date, and also of five storeys*. Each floor is accessed be a south central winder stairwell. The mill is attached to the warehouse to the south via a multi-level bridge above first-floor height*. The warehouse is principally of two parallel ranges of five/six storeys and attic extending from the Mill Avon to the east on a north-west orientation. The rear bays of the building have been extended or replaced in the 1930s and later*.
EXTERIOR: faced in English bond brickwork the building has regularly-spaced openings with segmental blue brick heads with keystones and stone cills, banding and a brick corbel table with dentil eaves cornice. There are loading door openings in the centre of the end-gabled walls. A number of the openings have been adapted and some new openings have been inserted and later sealed. The five-bay east front has window heads replaced in concrete to the ground floor. To the left bay of the first floor is a door with a step and hoist. The second and fifth floors have stone cill bands. Between fourth and fifth floor is a decorative blue and white brick band with a central plaque that reads BOROUGH FLOUR MILLS/ ERECTED MDCCCLXV. The fifth floor openings have flat rubbed brick heads.
The north front has loading doors with red brick heads, with adaptations to the fifth and attic floor. To the gable are round-arched windows to left and right bays. A steel platform is fixed outside the fourth-floor door with attached chutes. Below the ground floor is a brick plinth and quay wall that extends to the west. To the immediate west is the 1970s mill extension*, built of deep red brick laid in stretcher bond, blue brick detailing and is of a similar height to the 1865 mill. At lower level the building line is set forward and is canted and there are three sealed round-arched openings.
The west elevation is largely obscured by the 1970s building, which has openings to the top floor. The right bay to the 1865 mill, with corbel table and altered openings, extends to the right of the 1970s building and connects to the multi-level bridge* to the warehouse. The bridge covers much of the south elevation of the mill, which otherwise has originals openings, some sealed or altered.
INTERIOR: each mill floor has two rows of columns set towards the front half of the building. The steel columns to the ground floor are square in profile with chamfers, set on concrete bases and bolted to steel beams above. The upper floors have round profile columns with moulded capitals and square profile columns towards the south end. There are steel panels and equipment fixed to the floor structures. C20 machinery has been removed although some equipment survives, including plant to the fifth floor*. The upper floors have access to the bridge to the warehouse, which was not inspected. The attic floor has a rebuilt timber trussed roof with steel reinforcement to the collars.
An open-well stair accesses each floor and the adjacent offices in the west corner of the building. It has mid-late C20 handrails and panelling*. A mid-late-C20 lift* is fitted within the stairwell. The interior of the 1970s mill extension has steel floor structures with square chamfered columns and some C20 machinery*.
EXTERIOR: of a similar architectural treatment to the mill with banding, corbel table and blue brick heads, keystones and stone cills to the openings with metal window frames. The main front (east) has a gabled bay to the right with central loading doors adapted to windows, two of which retain segmental brick heads. The gable has decorative brick detailing, including the returns of corbel tabling, following the treatment to the mill. The upper three storeys have flat heads to the openings. The double-width range to the left has brick pilasters with corbelled capitals. There are six openings with brick heads and keystones to the ground floor. To the upper floors, the cill bands and decorative banding are carried through from the right bay and continue to the south flank. There is blue brick diapering just below the gable end with an 1889 datestone. The gable has a central lunette opening with blue brick head and stone dressings, and there is a brick parapet with stone kneelers. This elevation and the south flank have vertical steel strap ties fixed at intervals across them. The south flank extends to the left in engineering brick and has sealed openings with blue brick heads to the ground and first floors. Further left is weatherboarding to an attached grain silo*.
The north flank of the warehouse has some reordering of the ground-floor openings and those to the upper three storeys have flat heads. To the right of the elevation the bridge to the mill is attached to the upper floors of a gabled bay. To the west of the bridge the continuation of the 1860s elevation is attached to an in-line brick range of approximate 1930s date*. A footbridge extends from a fourth floor door to the 1970s mill range*. There are metal pipes attached at first-floor height along the north elevation. These pumped flour to the warehouse on the east side of the river (separately listed at Grade II).
INTERIOR: the 1870s warehouse has a timber trussed roof with some strengthening and adaptation. Other parts of the warehouses were not inspected.
* Pursuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’), it is declared that these aforementioned features are not of special architectural or historic interest, however any works which have the potential to affect the character of the listed building as a building of special architectural or historic interest may still require LBC and this is a matter for the LPA to determine.
Books and journals
Brooks, A, Verey, D, The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire II - The Vale and the Forest of Dean, (2003), 740
'The borough of Tewkesbury: Economic history', in A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 8, ed. C R Elrington (London, 1968), pp. 137-146. British History Online, accessed 02/01/2019 from http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/glos/vol8/pp137-146
This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.
The listed building(s) is/are shown coloured blue on the attached map. Pursuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) structures attached to or within the curtilage of the listed building but not coloured blue on the map, are not to be treated as part of the listed building for the purposes of the Act. However, any works to these structures which have the potential to affect the character of the listed building as a building of special architectural or historic interest may still require Listed Building Consent (LBC) and this is a matter for the Local Planning Authority (LPA) to determine.
End of official listing