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Description: The Old Silk Mill
Date Listed: 8 June 1983
English Heritage Building ID: 126267
OS Grid Reference: SP1495638977
OS Grid Coordinates: 414956, 238977
Latitude/Longitude: 52.0490, -1.7833
Explore more of the area around Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire at Explore Britain.
SP 14 39 CHIPPING CAMPDEN SHEEP STREET
7/211 The Old Silk Mill
Former silk mill, now workshops. C18, in 2 stages of build;
from December 1902 the mill became the workshops for C.R.
Ashbee and the Guild of Handicrafts. Coursed limestone rubble
with Welsh slate roof. Rectangular plan. 3 storeys with attic
to right part; 8-window first-floor range. Entrance to 4th
opening: double plank doors and large late C18 fanlight with
radial glazing bars in ashlar surround with imposts and
keystone. Continuous timber lintels over 3-light wood casement
windows-throughout, except 2-light to 8th bay and plank
loading doors to 5th bay. Inserted round-arched window at
right has 2-light casement with radial glazing to head and
sill. Mill projects to rear right; similar fenestration to
rear, but with paired casements separated by stone mullions;
some C20 windows in original openings, otherwise mainly
3-light metal casements, some with green glass.
Interior: entrance passageway formerly housed mill wheel.
Ground floor has some 4-panel doors. Chamfered joists and
exposed tie beams. Dog-leg oak staircase from entrance
passage; remains of turned half-balusters to newels. First
floor includes fireplaces to each workshop, fluted wooden
housing for wires (electricity was installed by C.R. Ashbee in
1903, the first in the town), some pulleys from Ashbee's
lathes. Centre window to rear of second floor has window
inscribed "J.T. Bruce, Plumber, glazier and house painter.
November 29 in the year of Our Lord 1829". King post roof.
There are 3 attached plaster plaques designed by Ashbee, 2 to
ground floor, one to staircase landing, with coats of arms
between bands of foliage. Also to landing a metal memorial
plaque_to C.W. Atkinson, D.1894, Guildsman and first
apprentice of the Guild of Handicraft, with ornamental
repousse wreath, enamelled.
The silk mill, which is a significant example of an 18th
century industrial building of this scale, is remarkably
unaltered since Ashbee's day, and has retained much of its
green glass described in the Ashbee Memoirs. The Guild of
Handicraft, founded by Ashbee in 1888, became one of the
foremost Arts and Crafts workshops of its period. It was
transferred from Whitechapel to Campden in 1902, and the
former silk mill then formed the focus of the communal life
which, as a pioneering social experiment, formed the most bold
and important expression of Arts and Crafts principles.
(Alan Crawford, "C.R. Ashbee. Architect, Designer and Romantic
Socialist", Yale, 1985; Fiona MacCarthy, "The Simple Life:
C.R. Ashbee in the Cotswolds", Lund Humphries, 1981).
Listing NGR: SP1492638990
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.