Ebley

OS Map c1880 (National Library of Scotland) Larger Map
OS Map c1880 (National Library of Scotland) Larger Map

The Long Block of Ebley Mill (1) was built in c1820 to manufacture woollen cloth, replacing a much smaller mill on the north side of the canal (2 marks the site), and many additional buildings were added in later years to make it the premier cloth mill in the valley. The Oil Mill (3) originally crushed seeds to produce oil and later served as a corn mill. The map shows a narrow-gauge tramroad from the mill to the canal-side and a later standard gauge siding off the Stonehouse & Nailsworth Railway to the south. Bridge House (4) and Holly Tree House (5) were at one time associated with the mill. The Oil Mill building is now used to make artificial snow.

On the north side of the canal, Ebley Saw Mill (6) was an important site for processing home-grown timber, to the east was Ebley Iron Works (7) and across Bridge St was a cider business (8). Further east, the map shows Ebley House (9), Vale House (10) and Ebley Court (11), all once occupied by mill owners with fine grounds running down to the canal. Much of this area has been comprehesively redeveloped, although Ebley House survives after a period as a National Children's Home.

Ebley Mill

(Museum in the Park)
(Museum in the Park)
(Museum in the Park)
(Museum in the Park)

Ebley Mill was the largest in the Stroud valley, for many years owned by the Marling family. This painting shows the Long Block on the left, powered by waterwheels, and a later block nearer the canal which included a huge steam engine to provide additional power. For the important water feed to the canal east of Ebley Mill, read Ebley Feeder.

That 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.

Ebley Bridge

Now known as Oil Mill Bridge, this traditional humpback canal bridge was originally the only access to the Oil Mill and other properties between the canal and the River Frome. The abutments survive, but now with a lower crossing after a lorry became stuck when trying to cross the original hump. The tall building beside the bridge was the Bell public house.

It Happened Here

Telegraph poles were once a common feature of the canal landscape, and one has been preserved beside the towpath east of Bridge House. The pole is believed to be part of an early link between Stroud and Stonehouse established by the National Telephone Company in 1895/96.