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Report - Tone Mills, Wellington, July 2012

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by layz, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. layz

    layz Conquistador d'Wolverton
    28DL Full Member

    Sep 21, 2008
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    Hey Guys,

    The Explore

    Whilst on holiday with my gf, I took the opportunity to visit Tone Mills, a place I had been longing to do ever since I first heard about it. I started iff by trying to get inside Tonedale Mill just down the road, but found the site crawling with workers. I decided to attempt a permission visit and surprisingly was welcomed inside by the contractors. No sooner had I taken a photo of the boilers was I turfed out by irate token Polish security guard who insisted: “this is a listed building, you can’t just take photos of a listed buildingâ€￾ I decided to leave it and try instead Tone Mills.

    Apologies for the quality of some of the photos, the heavens opened whilst I was inside and the roof offered little protection.


    Tone Mills is a complete water-powered cloth finishing works, established by the Fox Brothers and Co at the confluence of the River Tone and the Back Stream and dates from 1830. The remains of the water wheel remain in-situ and so too do all the line shafting and gearing. The Mill later had an electric motor installed to supplement the water-wheel during times of drought, although the water wheel continued to be used for many decades after. Put simply the mill comprises of a number of key areas to accommodate the various stages of production: A Fulling area, where wet cloth was dried, scoured, cleaned and milled to the desired finish. A dying room, adjacent to the fulling area which specialised in producing an indigo colouring. Reservoirs and Sluice gates, to manage the flow of water into the wheel chamber. The wheel chamber and a later power house.
    The associated machinery for all the stages of production are all in-situ, making it an industrial archaeologists paradise.

    The works finally closed in 2000 and production was moved to a more contemporary location. The buildings and machinery are Grade II* listed.













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