Healings Flour Mill - Tewksbury, Gloucestershire - March 2020

The former Borough Flour Mills at Tewkesbury, also known as Healings Flour Mills, is located by the River Avon with the Mill Avon passing to its east. There appears to be a long history of milling on the site and it was possibly where two mills were recorded in Domesday, and referred to as the town mills in the early C13. The two town mills were granted to Edward Hazlewood and Edward Tomlinson in 1581 and a mill referred to as Mr Blackburn’s Mill is recorded in 1733. Mill buildings are shown on the Borough Flour Mills site on the 1825 map of Tewkesbury and the bridge constructed 1822 across the Mill Avon to Quay Street (listed as Iron Bridge at Grade II) is also marked. The site is called The Quay on an 1840 enclosure map, by which time further mill buildings had been constructed.

By 1865 the mill was in the ownership of Samuel Healing, who rebuilt it as a steam-powered roller mill in 1865-6. Around the same time a brewery (listed at Grade II) was built on the east side of the Iron Bridge, on the corner of Quay Street, to a similar architectural treatment as the mill and was later used for flour storage as the Healings Warehouse. The new mill and its warehouses are shown on the Ordnance Survey Map of 1884. The mill building is at the north of the site with a railway to the mill quay running to its south across the widened Iron Bridge. Grain was brought to the quay by barges from Avonmouth. The warehouse building directly to the south of the tracks was connected via an upper level bridge to the mill. A further bridge is shown on the south side of the warehouse, connecting to buildings that may have dated from the earlier mill. Those buildings were replaced from 1889 by further warehouses built against the earlier warehouse, possibly built in two phases. The new arrangement is shown as a large single building on the Second Edition Ordnance Survey Map of 1902. Structural issues in the 1889 building appear to have led to their interior adaptation and strengthening. Subsequently, the flour processing operation was altered and flour pumped via overhead pipes across the Mill Avon to the former brewery across the river.

Further mill buildings were replaced and extended to the west of the site in the 1930s and later. In the 1970s a change of ownership saw the refitting of the plant and machinery in the mill, which involved the adaptation of the internal floors and roof structure. A new brick range was constructed alongside the rear (west) wall of the mill. Other structures relating to milling activity, including grain silos, were built on the site in the later C20 and new equipment installed in the warehouses. The site was partially cleared of C20 structures and some of the plant and machinery to both the mill and warehouse were removed following the closure of the mill in 2006.