Ebley Mill was the largest woollen cloth mill in the Stroud valley, replacing an earlier mill on the north side of the canal. This painting shows the Long Block on the left, built c1820 and powered by waterwheels, and a later block nearer the canal which included a huge steam engine to provide additional power.
This later block was destroyed by fire in 1859 and was replaced by the surviving building which includes a staircase tower that once had a chiming clock. The building is now the headquarters of Stroud District Council.
For the important water feed to the canal east of Ebley Mill, read Ebley Feeder.
The clock in the tower at Ebley Mill was an inescapable feature of the district as its chimes rang out every quarter of an hour. But one Sunday morning in 1885, as people were leaving their various places of worship, the clock started chiming and did not stop!
The Stroud News reported that some people were alarmed it was a most unlucky omen while others thought another 'fire-proof' building had taken fire' - this being a reference to a previous fire at the mill. Then one wag suggested that the clock had been reading Tennyson's Song of the Brook and had just come to the passage "Men may come and men may go; But I go on for ever." After about a quarter of an hour, however, everyone agreed it was a relief when the chiming stopped. (Source: Stroud News 7 Aug 1885 p5)