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
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.
This is a working museum of national significance.
28 Winchester Street,
Hampshire, RG28 7AL, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1256 892065
Its web site is found here and gives details of
opening times, its history and the activities and
events held at the mill
The information on this page is from
the web site.