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Report - Healings Flour Mill, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire - September 2016

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by Bertie Bollockbrains, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. Bertie Bollockbrains

    Bertie Bollockbrains 28DL Regular User
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    Reported several times from 2010, but not since 2014 so I think it's time for an update. The old building is still there but most of the out-buildings round the back have now been demolished and most of the milling machines have been sold and removed. What little equipment remain still have lot numbers attached and I assume did not sell at the auction. A word of warning to anyone visiting: entry involves potentially getting covered in a lot of anti-climb paint.
    Visited with @Oort


    HISTORY:


    Plagiarized, with apologies, from Clebby's report who came up with the most detailed history:

    "Tewkesbury has a history of flour milling spanning many centuries. Monks from Tewkesbury Abbey used to produce flour at a watermill on the Avon, but by far the most substantial mill was just upstream from here at the massive Healings Mill complex, built for Samuel Healing in 1865. It did not start out that big, but bits were added here and there over the years and it grew into a sprawling tangle of different aged buildings. Luckily, the handsome 1865 buildings survive today.

    When built, it was considered to be the largest and most modern flour mill in the world, producing 25 sacks of flour an hour in 1892. It has had, in the course of it's history, three means of transport in and out of it. It had road access via a handsome cast-iron bridge, rail access via the Tewkesbury to Upton-upon-Severn railway line, and canal / river barge access via the Avon. Barges were used right up until 1998, as the mill had two barges named Chaceley and Tirley which transported grain to the mill from Avonmouth and Sharpness.

    The mill was purchased by Allied Mills in the 1970s, and was completely refurbished and fitted out with brand new machinery. It was in turn taken over by ADM Milling, but in 2006 they announced the closure of the mill and the loss of around 40 jobs. It milled flour for the last time on October 20th, 2006, ending 140 years of milling on that site."

    REPORT:

    There's two old buildings here. The one of the right carries an 1865 datestone and marked as "Borough Flour Mills", it is interlinked by a high bridge walkway to a building on the left that carries an 188? datestone. This left building is now covered in building ties and reinforcement bars. In old reports is was subsiding. In between is a cast-iron road bridge purposely built for the mills.
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    Round the back the out-buildings have been demolished
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    We start on the roof of the 1865 building with views across the River Avon of Tewkesbury. Within the town only Tewkesbury Abbey is taller than this mill. The roof is collapsed in places and water leaks into the mill building
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    Generally the photos tour the building from the top down. No idea what I'm looking at - I'm not a miller.
    17_zps7e7lfsdx.jpg

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    Lot numbers seen on the remaining machines
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    Crossing into the other building and this seems to have been the packing area. The building is dominated by huge silos.
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    Anyways thanks for reading. I assume Oort will come along soon who will up much better photos than the rubbish posted above.
     

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    MoonDog, Joe., TranKmasT and 5 others like this.

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  2. WhoDaresWins

    WhoDaresWins Let's do this
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    A good mill this. Had a great time there back in i think 2014 or 2015. Looks very similar to how it was. There used to be building around the back for truck maintenance and a weigh bridge from what I remember.
     
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  3. clebby

    clebby ( . Y . )
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    Has anyone had any luck with the brewery across the road? You can see it in the picture Bertie took through the broken window. It was later owned by the mill, but looked to be full of labs when I peered through a cracked window once.
     
  4. Oort

    Oort The Spice Must Flow.
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    My pics will be along shortly. We did have a quick butchers at the building across the road but would need a ladder to access the first floor which considering the position of the building would be nigh on impossible to do with any kid of stealth.
     
  5. host

    host 28DL Regular User
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    Cracking report, funny thing i was just chatting about this place the other day...a lot has been stripped out which is a shame. I bet the brewery will be on here in the next few weeks too..
     
    #5 host, Sep 27, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
  6. Oort

    Oort The Spice Must Flow.
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    Shush... lol
     
  7. DPMurbninja

    DPMurbninja 28DL Full Member
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    IO'd be willing to have a look at it soon. Someone will have to though.
     
  8. TranKmasT

    TranKmasT We're Earth explorers
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    Great update. Still a lot to see. Nice to be able to get some mileage out of places like this.
     
  9. CheekiBreeki

    CheekiBreeki 28DL Full Member
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    With the buildings out back being demolished and a lot of the machinery being removed, are there any indications that the building may suffer the same fate, because I may take a look myself.

    That paint may be a slight concern though, is the only way in via ladder or vaulting a wall?
     
  10. Bertie Bollockbrains

    Bertie Bollockbrains 28DL Regular User
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    Planning permission was given in 2015 to convert the site to residential use. As the old mill building is listed, the facade will be kept. Details here (and as the photo in that link shows, Tewkesbury tends to flood in winter, so good luck to insuring your new house!)

    Only way in is via lots of anti-climb paint I'm afraid. And since this report, I hear that there is now activity on site.
     
  11. CheekiBreeki

    CheekiBreeki 28DL Full Member
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    Damn, that gate looks as if it might have a security detail too.

    Then again, if there isn't any activity in building houses, I wonder if there is any more open way around the back, because that steel bridge over the river looks as if it may provide a way around- unless there is also some sort of security detail on that too. But looking at it on a map, I wouldn't imagine a treeline along an old abandoned mill to be impregnable.
     
  12. Oort

    Oort The Spice Must Flow.
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    Site is live but prob still worth a look.
     
  13. Polo

    Polo 28DL Full Member
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    We gave this a visit a few Saturdays back. Getting onto the site is easy but, like others have said, there are people working there and it's now live.

    From where we were stood just on the other side of the fence, we couldn't see any way in as they'd boarded things up and removed sets of steps.
     
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  14. tumbles

    tumbles Trip Hopping
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    If you stand out the front you can also see its falling into the river slowly. Imagine the cost of steading it up might outweigh the conversion cost. Shame as its a lovely looking mill and nice location.
     
  15. host

    host 28DL Regular User
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    Anything on the brewery ??
     
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