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© Mr M. I. Joachim

IoE Number: 458195
Photographer: Mr M. I. Joachim
Date Photographed: 01 July 2003
Date listed: 10 September 1987
Date of last amendment: 17 November 1995
Grade II

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SHREWSBURY 653-1/4/749 SPRING GARDENS 09-JUN-03 DITHERINGTON (West side) APPRENTICE HOUSE OF FORMER DITHERINGTO N FLAX MILL (Formerly listed as: SPRING GARDENS DITHERINGTON SHROPSHIRE MALTINGS, OFFICES APPROXIMA TELY 10 METRES NORTH OF MAIN BLOCK AND MALTHOUSE) GV II* SHREWSBURY Former apprentice house for flax mill, subsequently offices, now disused. c1812. Brick with Welsh slate roof. 3 storeys and basement, rectangular plan with corridor on long axis. Principal elevation in east facing gable. 3-window range with central panelled door with overlight in architrave with open pediment. Mullioned and transomed window each side, with stone sill and segmentally-arched head. 3 similar windows on first floor, and sash windows to third storey. Shallow pedimented gable. HISTORY: The Apprentice House building was an early and significant component of the Flax Mill site established by Marshall, Benyon and Bage 1796-7, later converted to use as superintendents' housing by c1850. Main Mill, part of the core complex to the west of the Apprentice House, is the earliest iron-framed building in the world. Cross Mill, which faces the Apprentice House is now the eighth oldest iron framed building. It was originally the hackling or flax dressing block for the flax mill, and of conventional timber-floored construction until severely damaged by a fire. It was radically altered and assumed its present form as a fireproof building following reconstruction in 1811. It formed part of the conversion to maltings in 1897-98. The Warehouse is the third oldest iron-framed, fire proof building in the world, and the second oldest component on the site. Purpose-built as a flax mill, Ditherington is also notable as marking a transition to the factory production of flax. After its closure as a flax mill in 1886, the site was acquired by William Jones and converted into a maltings in 1897-98, closing in 1986. Forms a group with the Flax Mill (q.v.) the Dye House and Stove House (q.v.), the Stables (q.v.) and the Smithy (q.v.) The Ditherington Flax Mill complex, of which the Apprentice House was an early and significant component, contains the worlds earliest iron framed building, an advance in constructional technology which made possible not only the development of multi-storeyed, fire proof industrial buildings, but, more significantly, changed forever the way buildings were designed and constructed. That this advance was expressed first in a textile factory has led to the now-iconic status of the building type as the most potent symbol of the Industrial Revolution. The closely related subsequent additions of the Warehouse and the Cross Mill components, sequentially the third and eighth oldest iron-framed buildings endows the Ditherington Flax mill site with a unique architectural and historic significance. Macleod M, Trinder B, Worthington M: Ditherington Flax Mill, Shrewsbury: Ironbridge: 1988-).

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