Report - - Taplow paper mill and Grade II Listed Glen Island House dunloe lodge- maidenhead berkshire- july 15 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Taplow paper mill and Grade II Listed Glen Island House dunloe lodge- maidenhead berkshire- july 15


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28DL Full Member
first report. Hasn't been reported on here yet.
this was my second visit. first time i didnt take a camera but saw a whole lot more, this time went at night time with a compact camera with not a great flash or torch.

This place is huge, so many different parts. we even got onto the roof last time, its a bit sketchy, and some huge wholes in the ground where they have ripped out machinery.

we went a week a part and thigns were already changing, looks to be security from front gate but we didnt encounter any either times. just some anti climb paint

it is being made into houses

Broadly triangular in shape, the Mill Lane site measures approximately circa 17.04 ha (42.1 acres). The site benefits from substantial river frontage with the River Thames to the east and the Jubilee River to the west. Mill Lane, which runs through the site, is accessible directly from the A4 and provides a direct link to the centre of Taplow village. There is potential that an additional 1.55 acres could be acquired by Watchword Limited – in Administration which could increase the size of the site. Lying within the Taplow Riverside Conservation Area, comprises a mix of land uses including the former paper mill and ancillary buildings, the Skindles Hotel, period houses including Mill Island House, the derelict Dunloe Lodge and the Grade II Listed Glen Island House, a vacant warehouse site, car showroom and boat yard. In total the total footprint of the existing buildings across the site has been estimated at 13,602 sq m (146,411 sq ft). Neighbouring land uses include the National Grid gas holder site.

Farewell to Taplow Paper Mill
The riverside site at Taplow has industrial links that date to the 12th century, and paper has been made there almost continuously for 240 years, leading up to the present high-production mill.

The 74th anniversary (and the last) of the restart of the mill as New Taplow Paper Mills Limited is an appropriate time to remember the fascinating and colourful history of this well-known local industry.

The earliest definite reference to a paper mill at Taplow is to a William Burnham in 1767, and a survey of the mid-eighteenth century names Taplow as a 3-vat mill and one of the 12 largest mills in the country. Papermaking certainly would have started well before then. The Taplow site is ideally situated for the use of water for power and process uses. Water mills are recorded in 1184, a fulling mill (for cleansing and thickening cloth) in 1315 and corn mills in 1633 and 1698. William and Anne Burnham remained as papermakers until 1780, but the mill was used by a cotton merchant until 1810 when J.B. Wise restored it as a paper mill, going bankrupt himself in 1815.

The story then moves to Charles Venables & Co., 1840-1930. Charles and George Venables occupied the site around 1840, being well known in the High Wycombe and Cookham areas as papermakers, and it is likely that the mill was mechanised at this time. Charles was a doughty proponent of the rights of employers and wrote in no uncertain terms about reductions in children's hours of work in 1843: 'If the present government having done all that can be done to injure and ruin the papermaking trade in the United Kingdom by the protection and assistance given to the foreign manufacture, any further interference would be unjust and arbitrary in the extreme and uncalled for.' A contemporary newspaper said: 'There was the authentic voice of thunder from Charles Venables of Taplow Mill. Fair and free competition in trade is also not a new desire!'

The Venables family were very active and are noted around 1840 as operating nine mills locally, including one at Cookham. Lord Orkney, auctioning the Taplow estate in 1852, records the mill as leased to George Venables on a yearly basis. The mill became a limited company 1918, being then a two-machine mill making brown papers. Bankruptcy ensued in 1930 with the old mill gradually going downhill.


New Taplow Paper Mills Limited was registered on 31 March 1933, with four directors, all from the Reed and Smith Company in the West Country. The two old derelict machines were scrapped and one 72-inch machine reconstructed from the bits. The Reed & Smith connection was strengthened in 1957 when that group bought the mill. The original machine was replaced in 1963 by a 120-inch machine, although a section of drying cylinders remained in use on No.1 machine at the Silverton Mill of the group. Use of starch at a size press allowed the production of fluting medium from waste paper, the major product.

At the end of 1977, the Reed and Smith group was acquired by the St Regis Paper Company, one of the oldest and largest paper groups in the world. They set about modernising and updating the mill with major expansion of production 1979, from 37,000 to 50,000 tonnes per year. The Reed and Smith Division of St Regis was the second-largest producer of case materials in the UK, having taken over the Ashton Paper Mill at Sudbrook, South Wales, in 1983.

Until recently, the Taplow Paper Mill contributed to the community. They were a contributor to the Maidenhead Carnival and provided facilities for the orchestra to play on the Taplow side of the river. They allowed HTPS to have the use of their marquee to raise money for the National Trust Hanging Woods Appeal at Cliveden and were a long-standing corporate member of HTPS. Due to changing patterns of world demand for paper processing, the Taplow mills proved ultimately to be uneconomic and operations formally closed down last October and the whole site was bought by property developers. Watch this space.

excuse photos



















Donna M

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Wow! Amazing place! Good report. I lived over that way for 20 odd years, never knew that was there!?

Lancashire lad

chief taster for costa coffee
28DL Full Member
looks a nice explore chief , id like to see a few more piks tho maybe in the day time when your camera can handle the lighting a bit better :thumb


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Brilliant! Thank you for the pictures. It was surfing for details of Mill Lane and all that's in it that brought me to this website. I was shocked to see what change is going on, even this minute, probably. Demolition and lots of luxury housing by Barratt's. I lived in Maidenhead for a while in the late 1960s. Many years back I worked at Skindles but never went far up Mill Lane.
I also worked some evenings at the adjacent Berry Hill Country Club as it was then, the house unfortunately destroyed by fire. Apparently it was replaced by a block of flats in the 1970s From another website I saw that there are some extensive overgrown/derelict gardens (listed Grade 11) with rock faces designed to hide the gasworks that spoilt the view for the person who bought the house in Victorian times. Anyone who like an outdoor explore might one day have a look... Berry Hill is a turning off the Bath Road not far from Skindles towards Taplow.

Some years ago I saw the old UE website showing pictures of the derelict Canadian Red Cross Hospital as it was, not long before it was sold for housing. I was a patient there when it was a going concern.
I felt sure that urban explorers would have something on Taplow Paper Mills - and it did!


28DL Member
28DL Member
Bad news guys, I've been into the mill a few times in the past and it really was a great place to explore. But it's all gone now, they've knocked it down almost entirely and started building the houses. The old house and stables are still there and still very cool but that's all that's left on the site.


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
T-Rob. Sad news, but unsurprising. So much is being quickly swept away now that developers of housing have got the green light. We all know who the buyers will be. (Barratt's are building a small expensive development abutting my block of flats. The site housed a lively small lawn tennis club until 2014/15. )
At least we have glub's pictures and report. Looking again at glub's photos I see the double doors to garages are (were!) painted in the 1950s colour of all Skindles' exterior painting. I think the owner of Skindles' must have lived in the old house, 1950s/60s as his wife used to drive out of Mill Lane in a nice little sports car.

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