My love for textiles lead me to visit the Whitchurch Silk Mill located in Hampshire. It’s the oldest silk mill in the UK still in its original building and full of industrial history.
The mill was bought by John Hide of Whitchurch. He installed a new waterwheel and three water powered ‘tappet’ looms to replace the 50 year old wooden treadle looms operated by muscle power. His son James, pictured below, took over the mill in 1905 and remained there until his death aged 92.
One if the products woven at the mill was silk gaberdine and silk linings for Burberry raincoats. Thomas Burberry, had married into the Hide family.
When visiting you will see the original mill wheel and Victorian machinery still being used which were powered by the water mill until the late 1920s.
Definitely worth a visit! Open until the 1st October 2017 when they will be closing for refurbishment but I’m happy to say they will be due to re-open July 2018.
Information via the Whitchurch Silk Mill website