INDUSTRIAL SOUTHWOLD
Flour milling
 
9 -11 Victoria Street, Southwold, Suffolk IP18 6HZ - Tel: 01502 726097 email
 
 
 
 
 
Black Mill on Southwold Common in the late 1800s
In the beginning
The Sea
Natural Southwold
Fishing
Transport to Southwold
Southwold at war
Christianity in Southwold
Arts & Crafts
Holidays & Leisure
Southwold the town
Southwold Shops & Trades

 

Find out more about Southwold Industry from the booklet 'Southwold as an Industrial Town' on sale in the museum shop.

 
 
 
 

Flour Milling

Flour milling was an important local trade from at least the mid 17th century. The Town Mill (or White Mill) was operating in 1653 just south of the Common but was blown down in a storm nearly a century later. It was rebuilt and blown down again a few years afterwards. The remains were finally cleared away in 1898.

The Great or Black Mill was transported here from Great Yarmouth and erected on the Common in 1798, on the site now occupied by St Barnabas residential home. (Click the picture top left to see the mill in its setting.) Robert Dawson was the owner. Later, in 1803, it was leased to Peregrine Edwards with the Town paying for its upkeep on the understanding that Mr Edwards would charge the poor just one shilling for every sack of corn he milled for them.

A series of gales in the mid-nineteenth century inflicted considerable damage and it was eventually demolished in 1894. Mill Lane, Black Mill Road and Mill House remain as tangible meminders of the mill's history.

New Mill or Baggott's Mill, which stood on Church land at the corner of Field Stile and Cumberland Roads, was built by the Vicar, Rev'd H.W. Birch in 1841 and was much disapproved of by his parishioners. It, too, was storm-damaged and later, under the ownership of Mr Baggott, burned down in its 35th year.

The Industrial Revolution finally came to Southwold's milling industry in 1894 when two young local entrepreneurs, Mr C.R. Smith and Mr H.W. Girling commissioned a modern, brick-built, roller mill on North Green.

Smith & Girling's Mill
Smith & Girling's mill overlooked North Green at the end of Field Stile Road. Click the picture to see more of the mill. P273

Smith and Girling enjoyed great success for nearly a quarter of a century but finally closed in 1918 after the death of Mr Girling. The building was afterwards taken over by the Fordux Mills company.

Use the links below to explore the history of Southwold’s other industries.

Brewing
Hosiery and bedding manufacture
Iron founding
Milling
Public Utilities (Gas, water, electricity)
Rope making
Salt manufacture
Shops and Trades

 
Baggott's Mill
New Mill, later to be known as Baggott's Mill, was a source of controversy and resentment. See below.

Who gives to angry passion vent
And built a mill to grind dissent
Showing thereby his mal-intent?
Our Parson.

A popular rhyme which circulated among parishioners about the controversial New Mill.

SO MUCH MORE THAN FLOUR...
 
  Advertisement for Smith  & Girling's product range.  
 
Smith and Girling developed into a diversified business.
Click the advert.
     
   
 

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Southwold Museum & Historical Society, 9 -11 Victoria Street, Southwold, Suffolk IP18 6HZ
Tel: 01502 726097 email

A Charitable Incorporated Organisation, Registered Charity No 1159790,