The silk mill by the clear waters of the River Test in Whitchurch, Hampshire, is one of England’s most attractive industrial buildings. It was built in 1815 by one Henry Hayter. It original purpose is uncertain but it was acquired in 1817 by William Maddick, a silk manufacturer, and has been used for the production of silk ever since. It is a three-storey, five-bay, red brick building with a pedimented central bay, topped by a cupola. It produced silk on a commercial basis until 1985, after which it was taken over by Hampshire Buildings Preservation Trust and leased to the Whitchurch Silk Mill Trust. It was opened to the public with a shop and tea room, and some silk production continued. The market for the mill’s silk declined, and the trust was renewed with new funding in 2012. Visitors are still able to see the mill wheel and the machines for throwing, doubling and weaving silk.
Whitchurch is a common place name in the United Kingdom, and there was also a short-lived silk mill in the 1820s at Whitchurch, Shropshire.