How We Built Britain
Inside Ditherington Flax Mill
How We Built Britain: Ditherington Flax Mill
Over 200 years old, empty for 2 decades, vandalised, neglected and Grade I listed. The Flaxmill in Ditherington could be Shrewsbury’s most significant tourist attraction. So what makes it important to the town?
Built in 1797, Ditherington Flax Mill is the world’s first iron-framed building: its cast iron columns and cast iron beams form the basis for the steel frame of modern skyscrapers.
Despite its importance not only to Shrewsbury but to the world, the flax mill has remained empty since 1987 with vandalism and neglect resulting in damage to the buildings. And according to English Heritage’s Buildings at Risk register the mill is regarded as one of the most in danger of decay.
Filmmaker Doug Saltmarsh asks John Yates from English Heritage and Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough councillor Mansell Williams whether there is a sustainable future for this historic building and discovers how it could benefit Shrewsbury. Is the flax mill, as Cllr Williams puts it, "A World Heritage Site"?
last updated: 25/07/07