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A chance to look around St Mary’s Mill

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As part of the SPAB (Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) Mills Open Weekend 2024, St Marys Mill, Chalford will be open to visitors on May 11th and 12th.

St Marys is an example of a 200 year old cloth mill: part of the textile industry that brought employment, prestige and wealth to the Five Valleys. On show will be a waterwheel used to power the textile machines, a turning steam engine and other historic machines.

One of the most picturesque mills in the Stroud Valleys is St Mary’s in Chalford. Built like a diminutive Ebley Mill, it retains an imposing but static water wheel. A Tangye steam engine, which was working until the 1960s, is now powered by electricity. Reportedly it is the largest of its type in its original position. The massive remains of the last working fulling stocks in Gloucestershire from Cam Mill are explained. There is also a milling machine that replaced the stocks. Like the water wheel, it was built nearby by Ferrabee at Phoenix Ironworks, Thrupp. With a long history dating back to the Middle Ages, St Mary’s is an excellent example of how the countryside was once busy with industry. Visitors must book beforehand; telephone 01453 766273.

There is only disabled parking at the mill, so park by Belvedere Mill and walk one kilometre along the towpath towards Stroud, following the signs.

Tours start at 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm. Entrance is free but must be booked in advance: www.stroudtextiletrust.org.uk

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