1 August 2022
Today, Historic England has announced that tickets have gone on sale for the new exhibition at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings – the building that changed skylines across the world forever.
The Flaxmill Maltings will open on Saturday 10 September 2022 and people can now book tickets in advance online to be among the first to visit the site and explore the new exhibition, called The Mill.
The Mill will bring to life the story of this iconic monument to the industrial revolution and the people involved in its past.
Built in 1797, the Grade I listed Main Mill is the world’s first multi-storey, cast iron-framed building. The strength that iron gave to the Main Mill was the innovative leap needed to allow buildings to be built taller and is now therefore described as “the grandparent of the modern skyscraper”.
Now fully restored by site owners, Historic England, the Main Mill and Kiln are opening for the first time as a visitor destination, café and workspace – where people can come to celebrate and explore the site’s story.
The Mill will detail the development of Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings and its crucial role in the industrial revolution. With digital and hands-on activities for all ages, it will feature the stories of the lives of the workers, engineers, soldiers and entrepreneurs who played their part in one of the greatest heritage transformations and regenerations of all time. The exhibition will also tell the story of those who campaigned to save and repurpose this global engineering landmark for future generations to enjoy.
Launching the ticket sales for the new exhibition brings us yet another step closer to the exciting moment when we throw the doors open for people to come and visit Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings. After years of restoration work, we can’t wait to welcome visitors from all over Shrewsbury, Shropshire and beyond to visit this fascinating and important site and learn more about its role in the region and in shaping the modern world.Alastair Godfrey, Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings Project Lead
The ground floor of the historic Main Mill will also have a new independent Turned Wood Café, run by the people who brought you The Green Wood Café in Coalbrookdale. The Café will have a strong focus on sustainability, serving a tasty range of vegetarian and plant-based dishes, delicious cakes and house blend coffee which is specially roasted for the site.
Next to this it will also feature a new shop, which will showcase a wealth of local producers featuring over 50% of products from local suppliers and 90% from across the UK. All products have been sourced following the same environmental ethos adopted in the restoration of the building and every effort has been made to ensure products are made from recycled or sustainable materials.
The site is a flagship project for Historic England in demonstrating how historic buildings can be sustainably reused and how technology can be used in heritage sites to help tackle climate change. Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings has a ground-source heat pump, has maximised use of natural lighting and ventilation and contains reused materials. For example, floor tiles from the site’s earliest days as a flax mill have been incorporated into window ledges. The site is easily accessible by public transport – it is a short walk from Shrewsbury train station. Although the site has limited car parking spaces, electric charging points will be available.
Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings is in the final stage of a £28 million, eight-year restoration programme. The restoration of the Grade I listed Main Mill and the Grade II listed Kiln at the Flaxmill Maltings is taking place, supported by a £20.7 million grant thanks to National Lottery players through The National Lottery Heritage Fund, combined with the additional funding from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership via its Growth Deal with Government, and from project partners Historic England, Shropshire Council and the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings.
We are thrilled to have supported the redevelopment of Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings with a grant of £20.7 million, made possible thanks to National Lottery players. I would also like to thank Historic England and The Friends of Flaxmill Maltings for their tireless efforts in bringing this important heritage site back to life, ensuring its trailblazing history is preserved for all to celebrate.Robyn Llewellyn
Director, England, Midlands & East at The National Lottery Heritage Fund
Tickets are available to book from the Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings website and booking in advance is recommended to guarantee entry.