A photograph of men working on a slate roof.
Workers replacing the Main Mill roof in 2017 © Historic England

Restoring Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings

Site owners, Historic England, took leadership of the restoration project at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings in 2014.

The Flaxmill Maltings site is made up of eight listed buildings; two are restored, two more are currently undergoing restoration and four others still need funding to bring them back to life.

The first two buildings to be converted were the Smithy and Stables. Completed in November 2015, these buildings are used by the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings. The Friends will continue to use these buildings as their offices, as well as flexible spaces for visitors to the site.

Next, and being restored now, are the Main Mill and Kiln. The Main Mill is the first iron-framed building in the world and its pioneering iron frame is what makes this industrial heritage site internationally significant. This part of the restoration is taking place largely thanks to a £20.7 million grant from National Lottery players, through The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

It‘s a huge task fixing the enormous Main Mill and Kiln buildings. Architects, surveyors, brick specialists, builders, carpenters, ecologists, engineers, ironworkers, roofers, scaffolders (there’s been a lot of scaffolding over the years) and the project partners have worked together to solve the challenges that these historic buildings have presented, and it’s taken some modern-day innovative thinking to save and restore them.

The restoration of these two buildings started in 2017 and will be completed in 2022, when we will open the site and welcome people to enjoy a revitalised Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings. 

The future plan is that the remaining four derelict listed buildings on site will be restored in the coming years, once plans for how they will be used and funding to carry out the restoration works are in place.

2020 restoration highlights

  • The iconic coronet returned
  • Bell cote and water tank repaired
  • South Engine Houses restored
  • Beautiful Jubilee Tower revealed
  • Kiln scaffolding taken down
  • Ten years of the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings
Ornate ironwork including three gilt flowers surrounded by scaffolding boards.
The Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings coronet is back in place © Historic England
A photograph of an iron column
The iron-frame visible for the first time in two centuries. Mould marks from when the frame was first cast and flaws in the surface of the iron can be seen. © Historic England

2019 restoration highlights

  • Kiln takes shape
  • Wildlife on site (meet our bats)
  • Excavation reveals huge chimney base
  • Original 1797 iron work on columns exposed
  • Coronet restored

Donate

We need your help to maintain, restore and bring the Flaxmill Maltings buildings back to life.

A photograph of an ornate iron flower and frame.
Detail view of the restored coronet on the Jubilee Tower. © Historic England