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2011 Wansbrough Paper Mill

Wansbrough Mill in Watchet, Somerset, was founded by William Wood in 1750. Known then as St Decuman's, paper was made in the mill by hand using the vat method. In 1846 it was taken over by the Wansbrough family who installed paper machines. A devout Methodist, John Wansbrough built a chapel in the mill and enforced attendance at the weekly service. A fire destroyed most of the mill in 1889 but by 1899 five paper machines were in operation and Wansbrough Mill was the largest manufacturer of paper bags in the country. The mill was rescued from bankruptcy in 1903 by William Reed and it stayed in the ownership of the Reed family and the Reed & Smith group until acquired by St Regis International in 1978. David S Smith purchased the mill in 1986 but the mill continued to be known by the name St Regis until 2011.
Wansbrough Mill is now the largest manufacturer of core board in the UK. It also produces test liner as well as envelope and wrapping papers. The total annual production capacity of the mill is around 150,000 tonnes.

R Gunns


Map of the area

What is Domesday?

In 1986 the BBC launched an ambitious project to record a snapshot of everyday life across the UK for future generations. A million volunteers took part…  read more here

In 2011 the BBC published the survey online and for six months invited updates to the photographs and text to celebrate the 25th anniversary.

Shortly afterwards the website was added to The National Archives’ UK Government Web Archive.

If you are reading this via UK Government Web Archive, then the original Domesday search function and contact form will not work. This is a consequence of the archiving process. See Using Domesday for more details.