The Ditherington Mill Industrial Site, Shrewsbury

1750 - 2003 (c.)

Image: Ditherington Mill showing the malt kiln built by William Jones following the end of flax spinning in 1886.

Photograph by: Nabi Heydari (April 2003)


Ditherington Flax Mill is a grade I listed building. It lies in a semi-derelict state on the outskirts of Shrewsbury within a site which includes Grade II* structures. It was one of Britain’s most important factories and is possibly the most significant building in Shropshire.

This article by Malcolm Dick describes the buildings that form part of the Ditherington industrial site. The author has been helped by published research by Barrie Trinder into the industrial archaeology of the mill and archival material at Shropshire Archives. Illustrations are drawn from Shropshire Archives, Birmingham City Archives and photographs by Nabi Heydari, which were taken in April 2003.

The development and history of the mill and other buildings constructed by its architect, Charles Bage (1751-1797), are explored in another exhibition in the Industry and Innovation section of the Theme part of the website:
Charles Bage, the Flax Industry and Shrewsbury’s Iron-Framed Mills

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Text by: Malcolm Dick

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4924-0The Ditherington Mill Industrial Site, Shrewsbury 1309-0The Ditherington Industrial Complex 1317-0Ditherington Mill: Internal Construction, Ground Floor 1339-0Ditherington Mill: Internal Construction, Top Floor 1318-0Ditherington Mill: Internal Structure, Tie Beams 1319-0Ditherington Mill: Doors and Fittings 1329-0Ditherington Mill: Windows 1321-0Ditherington Mill: Cross Building 2235-0Ditherington Mill: The Engine House 4646-0Ditherington Mill: Blacksmith’s Shop and Stables 4932-0Ditherington Mill: Industrial Housing 4927-0Ditherington Mill: Clerks’ House 4929-0Ditherington Mill: Apprentice House, c 1800 4931-0Ditherington Mill: Apprentice House, c 1800 4930-0Ditherington Mill: Apprentice House, 1812
Sources and Further Reading

Most of the information about Ditherington Mill can be obtained from Shropshire Archives. A particularly useful primary source is a collection of letters from Charles Bage to William Strutt. Additional material is held at Birmingham City Archives and Leeds University Library. A web search will reveal a limited amount of information.

Tann, Jennifer, The Development of the Factory (London, Cornmarket Press, 1970).
Trinder, Barrie, “Ditherington Flax Mill, Shrewsbury – A Re-evaluation”, Textile History, 23 (2), 1992, pp 189-223.