Report - - Tonedale Mill and Dye Works - Wellington (July 2020) | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Tonedale Mill and Dye Works - Wellington (July 2020)


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Tonedale Mill;

I have to admit another late arrival to the party on my part, so apologies for that. It's one I'd always wanted to do since starting exploring, and as with most impressive sites in the South West, I appear to have missed the boat, but hey ho! I still enjoyed it and it gave me a chance to try and improve my amateurish photography skills as well, so bonus there. Please excuse my little indulgence into something I'm sure you're all bored of seeing by now!

History (Brief);

Tonedale Mills, including Tone Mills finishing site up the road, was a large wool factory in Wellington, Somerset that was the largest woollen mill in South West England. Owned by Fox Brothers, it was most famous for the production of "Taunton Serge", and later the khaki dye used by the British Army. The mill was established in the middle of the eighteenth century, and thrived during the industrial revolution. The site was continually growing through the nineteenth century, and at its peak employed around 3,600 people around Wellington and produced around 6,500 metres (21,300ft) of material each day. The cheap cost of producing fabric in third-world countries contributed to the factory mostly closing during the 1980s, but small-scale production continued on part of the site.

The large site features a number of mills, warehouses, workshops and engine houses. Like the north site up the road, evidence of water wheels as well as steam and electric power generation remains. The complex features factories for the preparation of the wool, including a combing shed and a wool cleaning complex. Most of the site is grade II* listed granting it a level of preservation by English Heritage, though the organisation accept that "comprehensive restoration and reuse would not prove commercially viable" due to the size and state of disrepair of the site.

The smaller dyeing works up the road were fully accessible the day of our visit, and utterly beautiful to behold. I know they're comparatively trashed now and nature is reclaiming, but in a way, I think that adds to the atmosphere. The larger mill has builders onsite Monday-Friday now, and as someone else who recently visited pointed out, they've made a very good job of bricking/boarding up every window and door on the first level of the main building, which was rather disappointing. I also couldn't get access to the other side of the river due to fire damage, and besides, this seemed to be where most of the current regen building work was going on, and was heavily overlooked by neighbouring houses anyway, so I didn't push my luck. Sadly the only room I could get access to was the room I shall affectionately name 'The room of a thousand pillars'. Anywho… hope the pics are okay...


The dyeing factory was a little more successful;

The date on the top reads 1899;

Some close ups; (Loving the fact everything's still greased!)

Found this set-up a little unnerving! I figured this was staged by one of you lot on here from way back when, when this place was a fresh explore!? Anyone wanna admit to that? :p

Best wishes all.

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Good shots here, some nice decay & machines. Never get tired of seeing most explores. Get tired of seeing trashed modern houses with no name nor history, with blurry shots or dusty/hazy shot. But this never. :thumb


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Thanks all, very kind :) x


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member