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© Mr M. I. Joachim

IoE Number: 458199
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 SJ41SE SPRING GARDENS, Ditherington 653-1/4/752 (West side) 10/09/87 Workshops and offices of former Ditherington Flax Mill (Formerly Listed as: SPRING GARDENS Shropshire Maltings, maintenance workshop/offices approx 15m WSW of main block) GV II Workshop and offices associated with flax mill, subsequently offices and maintenance workshop and now disused. Early C19 (pre-1805). Great bricks with Welsh slate roof and brick chimney. 2 storeys. East elevation has doorway to left, and two sash windows, one possibly original. 4 small later C19 windows to left of doorway approached by wooden stairs, with further window to right. Central stack to former smith's hearth, which survived the conversion of the building to offices and workshops when the flax mill site was re-used as a maltings. HISTORY: The workshop and office building was an early component of the Flax Mill site established by Marshall, Benyon and Bage 1796-7, and forms part of the expansion of the site under the impact of increasing specialisation during the early C19. It is sited close to the core mill complex, part of which, Main Mill (the first component to be built), is the earliest iron-framed building in the world. The other main components, the Warehouse and Cross Mill, are respectively the third and the eighth oldest iron-framed buildings. 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 Apprentice House (q.v.), the Dye House and Stove Building (q.v.) and the Stables (q.v.) The Ditherington Flax Mill complex, of which the Blacksmith's shop was an early 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 for ever 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, endow 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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