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Description: Former Wool Stove at Bourne Mills
Date Listed: 31 August 1988
English Heritage Building ID: 133177
OS Grid Reference: SO8720902158
OS Grid Coordinates: 387209, 202158
Latitude/Longitude: 51.7180, -2.1865
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1374/12/10039 LONDON ROAD
31-AUG-88 (South side)
FORMER WOOL STOVE AT BOURNE MILLS
(Formerly listed as:
FORMER WOOL STOVE AT BOURNE MILLS)
A wool stove (a heated building for drying and storing scoured and dyed wool), now a storage building, constructed in the early C19.
MATERIALS: The building is constructed from coursed rubble limestone, with a limestone ashlar stack, under a plain clay tile roof.
PLAN: The wool stove is an almost-square rectangle on plan.
EXTERIOR: The building is a three-storey rectangular block. The main elevation to the north-east has an external stone stair rising to a central, segmental-headed door on the first floor; there is a similar door below. To the left of each floor, there is a single three-light window with chamfered stone mullions. The north-west gable end has a later casement window at first-floor level.
INTERIOR: The interior is reported as having a cast-iron frame of columns and fish-bellied beams rising through three floors.
HISTORY: The Stroud Valleys have been a centre for cloth production since at least the C14, and by the beginning of the C17 the industry dominated the industrial life of the area. During the C18, Stroud and the surrounding district were famed for the quality of the cloth produced and for the rich hues of the dyes, some of them invented locally; despite some fluctuations in the market, the trade remained very prosperous throughout the century. During the earlier C19 there was a wholesale reorganisation of the cloth-making industry: hitherto, most weaving processes had been undertaken by workers in their own cottages, but from the beginning of the C19, larger-scale mill buildings began to be erected, in order to accommodate weaving. At the same time, many of the other processes involved in cloth production were mechanised, resulting in further rebuilding of many of the smaller mills in brick and stone to accommodate new machinery and processes. In the C19 there were 14 mills spaced at intervals of 300-400 yards along the River Frome along the eastern borders of Stroud parish, including Bourne Mill.
Bourne Mill has been the site of a mill since at least the C17: in 1690, the site comprised a house, two fulling mills, and a rack place. The mill was used for textile and rug making in the later C18 and early C19; in the 1820s, Bourne Mill was not only in use for cloth production, but was also the site of a corn mill. The former wool stove, as well as the two mill buildings which survive on site in the C21, date from this period in the history of the site. By the mid-1860s Bourne Mill was occupied by Richard Grist & Co, mattress-wool, mill-puff and shoddy makers, but by 1901, the site was no longer in use for cloth production, and was instead a cabinet works. In the mid-C20, the site became a manufactory for walking sticks, and was later used for a variety of light industries. In the early C21, the wool stove was used as a store.
SOURCES: A History of the County of Gloucester (Victoria County History): Volume 11: Bisley and Longtree Hundreds (1976), 119-32
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The former wool stove at Bourne Mills, constructed in the early C19, is designated at Grade II*, for the following principal reasons:
* Historic: the wool stove, which dates from the early C19, forms part of an historic textile mill complex in this area where the production of cloth was the primary economic activity from the C14 to the late C19
* Rarity: this building is a rare survival of a custom-built wool drying house of the period when the larger rectangular design was coming in, and appears to be largely complete
* Intactness: the exterior is largely unaltered, and it is understood that the interior arrangements are complete
* Group value: the wool stove forms a contemporary and functionally-related group with the two mill buildings at Bourne Mills, both listed at Grade II.
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.