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Thread: Healings Flour Mill, Tewkesbury July 2019

  1. #1
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    Default Healings Flour Mill, Tewkesbury July 2019


    I first visited Healings Mill waaaaayyyy back in 2011, and back then on my visit half of the mill was locked tight. I went back a couple of times within the year, but found it sealed the first time and then arrived the second time to find Tewkesbury, and the grounds around the mill, completely underwater. Then the machinery began to be dismantled inside and the modern extensions were demolished, and I assumed following that turn of events the site would be developed. I was so convinced of this fact that I never bothered going again, not until a few photos of the mill surfaced recently. Cue me having a massive 'd'oh!' moment, so I decided a revisit was more than overdue to see if I could finally see the whole place.

    History pinched from Historic England as per usual.

    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 Blackburnís 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 nice chilled wander at the end of a good day - I'm happy I finally got to see the whole place, and re-shoot some of the other bits. Quite a lot has been cut out of one side of the mill leading to various sketchy areas and parts that have caved in, which makes it all the more fun.













































    Thanks for looking :)
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  2. Thanks given by: ajarb, HughieD, Mearing, ocelot397, Sausage, smiler
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  4. #2
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    I don't live far from here now, I didn't think it would look that modern inside!

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    Very nice that mate
    I like to go where others fear to tread.

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    The rotten open floors remind me of false floors in mines. Both are terrifying!
    Machinery in flour mills is interesting. I doubt it's something you'd see in a machinery calalogue? It must be unique to the milling companies and what they're created over time. (aside from electric motors etc)
    I can't help but think flour mills must have had a constant battle against vermin? Did they succeed in winning that battle or was vermin a constant thing? People here will know :)
    Gorgeous weeping willows by the water in the opening shots.

    Interesting deadly report. Thanks for posting.
    Full of meaty goodness.

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    Nice that, a whole lot of pipey goodness going on there!
    What the hell am I doing, I mean really at my age!

  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sausage View Post
    Machinery in flour mills is interesting. I doubt it's something you'd see in a machinery calalogue? It must be unique to the milling companies and what they're created over time. (aside from electric motors etc)
    I can't help but think flour mills must have had a constant battle against vermin? Did they succeed in winning that battle or was vermin a constant thing?
    Obviously each mill complex was a unique installation, but the actual basic seed milling machine could be found in the catalogues of any company manufacturing this equipment. The basic plant was always designed around one particular factor - output per hour of milled product. As for vermin - rats and mice were always around. My family have some photographs, taken many years ago (early '50's) on the old family farm in the threshing barn at threshing time. They show the six members of the resident Jack Russell ratting brigade sitting in front of a seven foot high heap of dead rats and mice. This occurred at every harvest time on the area farms, as the War had drastically altered how the land was managed ( I will try and retrieve them from my brother and put them up on here). I can remember when I was a young boy and they demolished the old Doncaster flour mills and people living in the old terraces nearby were inundated by escaping rats and mice. Just remember what the old rat catchers used to say - 'You are never more than six foot away from your local resident rat', and living on the very edge of open country side, I know that this holds for me today.

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