Lodgemore and Gas Works

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

Lodgemore Mill (1) and its neighbour Fromehall Mill (2) were established centres for making woollen cloth long before the canal was built. Both initially relied on power from the River Frome supplemented by the Painswick stream from the north-east (3), although steam power was introduced in the nineteenth century. 

When the canal was under construction, a culvert was made to take the Painswick stream under the canal, and sluices were built (4) so that some water could flow into the canal when needed to maintain its level. For more about this water feed, read Lodgemore Feeder. To provide additional storage capacity for working the mills, a long reservoir was constructed along the north side of the canal (5), and this was also connected to the mill pond by a culvert under the canal. 

To the west of the mill can be seen the eighteenth century house of the former mill owner, now used as offices (6), and nearby an eighteenth century ornamental bridge carries a footpath over the River Frome (7). A short walk past the mill pond leads to the buildings of Fromehall Mill.

Lodgemore Mill

Following the introduction of steam power, much coal was brought by canal to Lodgemore until this traffic died out in the 1930s. The present mill dates from 1875 after an earlier building was destroyed by fire.

The firm still makes woollen cloth and specialises in producing material for covering billiard tables and tennis balls which are exported all over the world. The buildings of nearby Fromehall Mill are occupied by small businesses.

Murder Lane

The road down to Lodgemore Mill is known by locals as Murder Lane after a fourteen year old boy was found there dying after being robbed of the wages of workers at Lightpill Mill in 1887.

Stroud Gasworks

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

To the west of the mills, Stroud Gasworks was established beside the canal in 1833 and was expanded in the 1860s. It received regular shipments of coal brought from Newport, and coke and tar were taken away. This painting by Miss J de M West shows how coal arriving by barge had to be discharged across the towpath by casual labourers who gathered there hoping to find employment when a barge arrived.

The site of the gasworks has been cleared and is now occupied by local businesses.

It Happened Here

To publicise a circus in 1869, a clown sitting in a bath-tub was drawn along the canal by a goose all the way from Lodgemore Mill to the Ship Inn at Wallbridge. (P H Fisher's Diary from MH website)