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Whitchurch Silk Mill

Whitchurch Silk Mill was constructed in about 1800. It was originally used as a fulling mill, part of the finishing process in cloth weaving. In 1816 the mill was purchased by William Maddick, a silk manufacturer of Love Lane, Aldermanbury, London. By the 1830s the mill was weaving silk.  By 1838 it had over 100 employees, 39 of which were children under 13 years old.
The mill changed ownership again in 1889 when it was purchased by the Hide family. The mill wove linings for Burberry raincoats. Based in nearby Basingstoke, the Burberry's were related to the Hide family by marriage. Production at the mill was interrupted by the Second World War as supplies of raw silk were not available. After the War individual electric motors were installed on the mill's machines replacing water power.

James Hide continued to manage the mill until his death in 1955 aged 92. The business was then bought by Stephen Walters and Company, Silk Weavers of Suffolk. In 1971 it passed into the ownership of Ede and Ravenscroft, makers of legal gowns. The ottoman silk for legal gowns was woven at the mill and the gowns were made up in the sewing room.

In 1985 the mill was faced with closure as the business was losing money. The building and its contents were purchased by the Hampshire Buildings Preservation Trust which carried out extensive repairs. This included renovating nearby cottages and selling them to fund the repairs. In 1990 the Mill was leased to the Whitchurch Silk Mill Trust, dedicated to educational and preservation purposes. Weaving continued and does to this day using the historic machinery for its original purpose, producing fine silks for our customers.

 

Opening Times  All year except Christmas week (24 December to 2 January)

Tuesday to Sunday from 10.30am to 5.00pm
Last admission at 4.15 pm

Also open Bank Holiday Mondays

Whitchurch Silk Mill,
28 Winchester Street,
Whitchurch,
Hampshire, RG28 7AL, UK
Tel: ++44 (0)1256 892065
 
Its web site is found here :   Whitchurch Web

The information on this page is from the web site.

 


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