Saltford Brass Mill Through Time
Saltford Brass Mill in the early 1800s. The drawing depicts the mill before the construction of the Great Western Railway, the digging for which started on 11 June 1836, as recorded on an inscription in the mill. The mill is operational with one of the twin annealing furnaces in use. On the river can be seen the Shallows Ferry and a horse-drawn barge being pulled upstream towards Kelston Lock. The cottages on the right are today known as Willow Cottages and date from the late seventeenth or early eighteenth century but were formerly known as Ferry Cottages. This reflected the ferry operated across the river at this point. In the early 1900s the ferry was operated by Hannah Gregory.
Saltford Brass Mill, 7 July 1884. Visible in the photograph are: the chimneys of the mill's four annealing furnaces; Saltford railway station (opened on 16 Dec 1840); the Methodist Chapel; Kelston Lock; and, in the foreground, Willow Cottages. The photograph was taken by Mr W.R. Stock of Long Ashton. The image is courtesy of the Clevedon Civic Society and Woodspring Museum, Weston-super-Mare, where Mr Stock's collection is held.
Saltford Brass Mill c.1900. Visible in the photograph are, from L-R: the roof of the rolling mill and eastern battery mill with Kelston Weir, Kelston Lock and the lockkeeper's hut behind; and the brass mill's western workshop with its annealing furnace with the mill's counting house behind. The chimney and western workshop were demolished in the early 1930s to enable the road to be widened. The counting house has also been demolished and a modern bungalow built on its footprint. In the middle-distance are Withey's boathouse and Sheppard's boathouse beyond.
Saltford Brass Mill c.1905. The photograph was taken from Withey's boating station, looking down the head-race towards the mill. Visible in the photograph are the bridge over the head-race the rolling mill and the tops of three of the annealing furnace chimneys. In the middle-distance is The Craig, later to be the home of Eric Butler who bought the mill in 1928 and converted it into a squash court and sports centre.
Saltford Brass Mill c.1910. A cavalcade of cars approaching the boating stations from the Shallows. The hoarding advertises a performance of 'Some Kiss' at the Palace Theatre, Bristol. The theatre, which was in Baldwin street, opened in 1892 and was converted to a cinema in 1912, placing this photograph before that date. Saltford Brass Mill can be seen in the middle-distance.
Saltford Brass Mill c.1925. This photograph, taken around the time of the mill's closure, shows the mill in its final configuration as a brass mill. The chimneys of three of the mill's four annealing furnaces can be seen, one of the pair of eastern furnaces (to the right of the picture) having been demolished. Behind the western chimney (to the left of the picture) can be seen a row of low roofs which possibly belonged to a number of single-decker cottages between the mill and the Methodist chapel.
Saltford Brass Mill c.1890. The mill, with its twin-pair of annealing furnace chimneys, can be seen in the center of the picture, which pre-dates the building of Withey's Boat House in 1896.
Kelston Weir and Saltford Brass Mill c.1910. To the right of the photograph can be seen Kelston Weir (incorrectly named Saltford Weir) and Kelston Lock, with Saltford Mill in the background. The four furnace chimneys can be seen with the distinctive twin pair on the eastern side of the mill. The Craig is seen on the hillside overlooking the mill. In the left foreground is Sheppard's boating station.
Saltford Brass Mill c.1934. This photograph, taken shortly after mill's closure, shows the site in its final configuration as a brass mill. The chimneys of two of the mill's four annealing furnaces can be seen. The chimney in the centre-foreground is the chimney which stands today. The chimney on the left is one of a pair of furnaces that once stood here, its twin having been demolished. Upstream of the mill can be seen Kelston Weir and lock. On the right is Sheppard's boat house, George Sheppard having taken over Withey's boathouse in 1927.
Saltford Brass Mill c.1910. Visible in the photograph are: the chimneys of the mill's four annealing furnaces; Saltford railway station; and, in the foreground, Willow Cottages.
Saltford Brass Mill c.1900. This photograph, provides a good view of the western workshop and its annealing furnace chimney in the center-left of the image. The tops of the other three chimneys can be seen above the range of mill buildings. In the center of the photograph is Mill Cottage, which dates from the early 1700s.
Aerial view of Saltford Brass Mill c.1936. The mill can be made out amongst the trees alongside the river. Two of the mill's chimneys remain, one of the twin furnaces associated with the western workshop (RHS) and the eastern workshop and its furnace alongside the Shallows (LHS) having been demolished.
Saltford Brass Mill c.1935. The rolling mill and two-span bridge viewed from the head race. Note that by the time the photograph was taken the western workshop and annealing furnace alongside the Shallows had been demolished.
Saltford Brass Mill c.1905. The western workshop and annealing furnace chimney is to the right of the image, viewed from Saltford railway station looking along the Shallows. The Craig is in the upper-center of the image and the railway cutting and footbridge on the left of the image.
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A naive watercolour of the brass mill, painted in the early 1800s. The artist was on opposite bank of the river close to the navigation lock. The picture captures the weir and the head race but shows a single furnace chimney only which is also out of proportion to the mill. Compare the paining to the 1910 photograph of Kelston Weir and Saltford Brass Mill above, which was taken from a similar vantage point. The painting appears to pre-date the Great Western Railway, the construction of which began in 1836.