St Cuthberts Mill

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St Cuthberts Mill
Limited
IndustryPaper
Founded1736
Headquarters,
United Kingdom
Area served
Worldwide
ProductsArtist papers. Watercolour, mixed media, printmaking, and fine art inkjet papers
ParentF.I.L.A. Group (Fabbrica Italiana Lapis ed Affini)
Websitewww.stcuthbertsmill.com

St Cuthberts Mill is a British paper manufacturing company in Wells, Somerset, that specialises in mould made artists papers. The range includes traditional painting and printmaking papers, and inkjet papers.[1]

History[edit]

Production began in 1736 on the St Cuthberts Mill site, making hand made paper under the name Lower Wookey Mill. Lower Wookey Mill was leased by Joseph Coles (aka Joseph Coles Sprague) in 1786. The Coles family were active in the Axe Valley for around a century. Joseph Coles first recorded his watermarks in 1797/9.[2]

A Hollander beater ‘beating machine’ was installed to increase production.[3]

In 1856 Edward Burgess and Ward bought the mill and installed two Fourdrinier machines, which were powered by a new water wheel designed by Henry Coles of Henley Mill.[4]

St Cuthberts Mill Paperworks, circa 1889 -1897. (MIll 364)

1876. A new partnership resulted in the mill to increase its production. The Mill had esparto and rag preparation capabilities, dusters, nine boilers for grass and rags, four potchers, fifteen beaters, chemical processing plant, gas works, two machines, mechanics shop, and offices on site. All of this was powered by a water wheel and eleven steam engines.[3]

The 'Maintenance Team' circa 1920. (MIll 364)

The name of the mill was changed in 1862 to 'Mendip Mill'.[3] In 1886 major changes resulted in the mill’s name to be changed again, this time to ‘St Cuthberts Mill’. Following these changes new effluent equipment and increased power was introduced to the mill.[5]

In 1897, the landmark chimney was built using 300,000 specially made bricks.[6][7]

In 1907, No 2 Fourdrinier machine was installed. It is the same one still in use now, as it was rebuilt as a mould machine.[8]

Working in the 'Salle', 1921. (Mill 364).
Burgess and Co's Mendip Mill circa 1935

The company Inveresk purchased St Cuthberts Mill in 1938[9], and took over the nearby Wookey Hole Mill. This led to Inveresk gaining experience in running a mould machine, and they began making artist papers with the purchase of the TH Saunders business in 1959.[citation needed]

PM 1[clarification needed] machine installed in 1954.

Wookey Hole purchased the rights to produce TH Saunders paper (Thomas Harry Saunders) (originally developed in 1920.) Those rights came to St Cuthberts Mill in 1959, with TH Saunders rebranded as Saunders Waterford in the 1980s.[citation needed]

The Wookey Hole mould machine was transferred to the St Cuthberts Mill site after the sale of Wookey Hole Mill in 1972. Hand made paper continued at St Cuthberts Mill onto 1976.[citation needed]

Bockingford rights were bought from Whatman in 1975.[10]

Somerset paper was developed in the mid 1970s at St Cuthberts. Michael Ginsburg, an American paper dealer (Legion Paper), is credited with giving the paper its name. It struck him as he was driving to the mill and came to the sign marking the Somerset border.[11]

1984 saw an increase in demand for watercolour paper. After a rebuild, the mill turned to using PM2 machine purely for the production of these papers.[citation needed]

"In 1990, Somerset paper was chosen for a fund-raising lithograph, based on watercolour paintings created by H.R.H. the Prince of Wales. The lithographs were produced on a 300gsm (140lb) paper grade, which incorporated not only the Somerset watermark, but the Prince of Wales’s own crest too."[12]

Improvements were made in 1991 to PM1 machine, which was specialising in the creation of pre-impregnated papers for the cabinet market[further explanation needed].

In early 2010, PM 1 machine was sold. Following this, in October 2010, St Cuthberts Mill Ltd was created following the fall of Inveresk,[13] resulting in the mill specialising in artist’s papers, being produced on the remaining mould machine PM2.[14]

The mill was sold to F.I.L.A. in September 2016.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lewis, Genevieve (15 March 2018). "The international papermakers of sleepy Somerset". Print News. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  2. ^ Luker, BG (1991). Mill 364 – Paper making at St Cuthberts. St Cuthberts Paper Mill. p. 4.
  3. ^ a b c Luker, Brian. "Paper and Papermakers Around Wells" (PDF). Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  4. ^ Luker, BG (1991). Mill 364 – Paper making at St Cuthberts. St Cuthberts Paper Mill. p. 13.
  5. ^ "Records of St Cuthbert's Paper Mill and Wookey Hole Paper Mill, Wells, 1863-2002". Somerset Heritage Centre. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  6. ^ Mill 364 - A brief resume - British Association of Paper Historians, 1999 conference. P.3
  7. ^ Specification from RB Hilton and Sons for the erection of a new chimney at St Cuthberts Paper Works for Messrs Pirie Wyatts and Co. 1897. Somerset Heritage Centre Doc Ref A\COT/1/13/1. 1897.
  8. ^ "Interview: Cathy Frood and Steve Carroll of St. Cuthbert's Mill". The Fiber Wire. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  9. ^ "St Cuthberts Paper Mill Directors of New Company". Wells Journal. 538 (Vol 538 No 12). 8 April 1938. p. 1.
  10. ^ "Kent Online report of Whatman Closure".
  11. ^ Turner, Silvie (1998). 'The Book of Fine Paper'. Thames and Hudson. p. 132. ISBN 0-500-01871-5.
  12. ^ Turner, Silvie (1998). The Book of Fine Paper. Slovenia by Mladinska Knjiga: Thames and Hudson. p. 131. ISBN 0-500-01871-5. In 1990, Somerset paper was chosen for a fund-raising lithograph, based on watercolour paintings created by H.R.H. the Prince of Wales. The lithographs were produced on a 300gsm (140lb) paper grade, which incorporated not only the Somerset watermark, but the Prince of Wales’s own crest too.
  13. ^ "Receivership-hit Inveresk's St Cuthberts Paper Mill bought by existing management". Print Week. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  14. ^ "Inveresk's St Cuthberts Mill sold to management". EUWID. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  15. ^ Matthis, Simon (22 September 2016). "Fila acquires St Cuthbert's fine paper mill in UK". PulpPaper News. Retrieved 22 May 2018.

Further reading[edit]

  • Mill 364 - A brief resume - British Association of Paper Historians, 1999 conference.
  • Mill 364 – Paper making at St Cuthberts by BG Luker
  • G S Witham, “Modern Pulp and Papermaking”, 1942
  • A M E P, “Esparto Paper”, 1956
  • R H Clapperton, “The Paper Making Machine, its Invention, Evolution and Development”, 1967
  • A H Shorter, “Paper Making in the British Isles”, 1971
  • G T Mandl, “Three Hundred Years in Paper making”, 1985
  • RL Hills, “Paper Making in Britain, 1488-1988”, 1988
  • A Pilkington, “Frogmore and the First Fourdrinier”, 1990
  • Indexes relating to 19th Century paper making, compiled by Robin Clarke, covering E G L, P M D, etc.
  • Notes on the mills of North Somerset (old definition) by Martin Bodman
  • Bundle of miscellaneous papers from Wansborough Mill, Watchet, 1923-1934
  • (Patent 5987 (1830), patent 8715 (1840), patent licence 1977 (1876)
  • Material at 'Somerset County Record Office' including:
The Wookey Parish registers, the Wookey and Out St Cuthberts tithe maps and apportionments, the relevant Censuses of 1841 to 1881, and:
  • D/P/Wook/9/1 and 23/27 and 13/2/1
  • D/PC/Wook/1/1/1
  • D/P/WStC/4/3/1 and 2, and 13/2/6
  • D/B/Wls/35/5, 6 and 26
  • DD/Fs/Box3
  • DD/WM1/412, 415 and 420
  • Q/Rel/38/9f and 9g
  • “Calendar of MMS of Dean and Chapter of Wells”, HMC Letter, P Sykes to R A Atthill, 1964
  • Minutes of the Upper Axe Drainage Board, 1881 to 1967
  • Bristol Industrial Archaeological Society, Vol 3, 1970
  • “Wells Journal”, 1853 et seq
  • “The Paper Record”, 8 September 1891
  • “The Stationary World”, April 1911
  • “The Paper Maker”, 1922
  • “The World’s Paper Trade Review”, 3 and 31 March, 13 and 20 October, 3 November, 1939
  • “Paper Europe”, December 1990

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°12′59″N 2°40′25″W / 51.216476°N 2.673498°W / 51.216476; -2.673498