Head Weir Paper Mills

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Head Weir Paper Mills

Paper was first made in Exeter in 1638, and by the end of the 18th century, Exeter had 30 of the country’s 425 papermills, mostly concentrated in mills around Countess Wear. Paper was made from recycling waste paper or even rags, imported from overseas.

Founded on Bonhay Road on the river, Head Weir Paper Mill was powered by water-driven turbines, but the mill also had a steam engine. Converted from a fulling mill in 1787, the mill was also used as a corn mill for a time. The mill closed in July 1967. At its closure, the mill was producing 50 tons a week of material for laminating, tickets and sugar paper. Remnants of the mill can be seen today, in the form of the Mill on the Exe pub.

Publication: Minchinton, W, 1974, 'Devon at Work, Past and Present'. David and Charles, Newton Abbot.

Acknowledgments: Exeter City Museums