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Stowford Paper Mill

Paper Mill makes an impression in Ivybridge.

News 1962 6 mins

From the collection of:

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Overview

Stowford Paper Mill in Ivybridge was originally converted from a mid- sixteenth century corn mill by William Dunsterville. John Allen developed the mill further in 1849 and his sons Edward and John extended the reach of the mill to the River Erme in the village. Its water came from Head Weir in Longtimber Woods, a place where locals like to swim. The mill discharged wastewater back into the river but from 1963 an effluent plant was in operation.

At one time Stowford Mill employed three hundred people and until the 1920s produced all the paper for postage stamps and after that for the old white five-pound notes. A banknote manufacturer Portals acquired the mill in 1924 and Wiggins Teape and Arjomari Prioux turned the mill into ArjoWiggins and made specialist security papers. In the 1970s cotton rags and lint were used blended with woodpulps to make paper. By the 1980s a new boiler and turbine generated a third of the mill's electricity needs. The last dandy roll used to create the watermark is held at the Ivybridge Heritage and Archives Group at the Watermark building. The mill ceased trading on 21 November 2013 and the business moved to Aberdeen.