Report - - Tone Mill - Somerset - May '15 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Tone Mill - Somerset - May '15

Mr Sam

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Slightly last minute for me got in early from a nightshift and straight back in the car to go meet the other just hoping my camera battery was charged! I managed to get a bit of sleep on the way so woke up with the first location towering over us Tonedale Mill, that was nothing short of amazing and i didn't think the day could get much better...

The company was officially founded by Thomas Fox in Wellington 1772, after taking over the family business from his father, Edward. At this time, it is believed that the company employed up to 450 people in and around the area.

During the Industrial Revolution in the early 19th century, the company brought the entire production process in house. With the wool sorting, spinning, drying and weaving processes all under one roof, the Fox family were able to exert more control over quality and increase production. Not only was the total production housed on the one site, but ancillary crafts also took place at the mill. These included basket weaving; to produce the baskets used for holding wool and yarns, joineries; for the wooden requirements of the site, book binding; to produce record and accounts books as well as metal forges and workshops, to produce and maintain the machinery.

At its peak the company employed approximately 5,000 people and owned and operated nine mills and factories in Somerset, Devon, Galashiels and Oxfordshire.

The Fox family had their own legal tender from 1787 until 1921; Lloyds bank in Wellington is to this day known as the Fox Branch.

From the late 19th century into the 20th century, production became increasingly focused on fabrics for the British military. During the Boer War, Fox Brothers developed the new serge drape mixture know as 'khaki', which eventually led to the demise of the British Army's traditional 'redcoats'. During the First World War, Fox Brothers completed the largest ever, single order for textiles: 852 miles of cloth supplied to the Ministry of Defence. This was used to make 'the puttee' - spiral leg puttees were used by the military as a part of the regular soldier uniform.


after this we headed to a Cider farm only for it to be closed :( but thankfully found a farm shop open with some west country goodies! A rather long day out for me with MD & Goldie87