Saturday, 13 July 2013

Tone Mill Wellington July 2013

Borrowed history...

Tone Mills is a complete water-powered cloth finishing works, established by the Fox Brothers and Co at the confluence of the River Tone and the Back Stream and dates from 1830. The remains of the water wheel remain in-situ and so too do all the line shafting and gearing. The Mill later had an electric motor installed to supplement the water-wheel during times of drought, although the water wheel continued to be used for many decades after. Put simply the mill comprises of a number of key areas to accommodate the various stages of production: A Fulling area, where wet cloth was dried, scoured, cleaned and milled to the desired finish. A dying room, adjacent to the fulling area which specialised in producing an indigo colouring. Reservoirs and Sluice gates, to manage the flow of water into the wheel chamber. The wheel chamber and a later power house. The associated machinery for all the stages of production are all in-situ, making it an industrial archaeologists paradise. The works finally closed in 2000 and production was moved to a more contemporary location. The buildings and machinery are Grade II* listed. Tone Mill in Wellington is the last woollen mill in the West Country, with a priceless collection of original machinery still in place in the wet finishing works.

















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