Bond’s Mill, on the western edge of Stonehouse was probably one of the earlier cloth mills of the Stroud district. It was probably established before 1496, during the expansion of the rural cloth industry in Gloucestershire, and for a time it was the main base of the cloth business of the Fowler family of Stonehouse.
Special pillbox at Bond’s Mill.
During World War Two the Bond’s Mill site was taken over by Sperry Gyroscope. In 1940 several pillboxes were built along the Stroudwater canal as part of Stop Line Green defences. One of these was at the entrance to Bond’s Mill and was unique – being two-storey so that guards could look across the valley to spot the enemy. After the war the pillbox became the gatehouse for Sperry’s and subsequent businesses. The pillbox is now Grade 2 listed.
in 2023 Oxford Brookes University student, Julia Tu, chose the pillbox for an assignment on drawing and surveying techniques, along with its associated history, as part of her Masters level course in Architectural History. Stonehouse History Group were able to help with information about the historical background and photographs. Julia kindly sent us her finished project which you can read here
Bond’s Mill Assignment by Julia Tu
The Beard’s Mill buildings (by the railway viaduct over the river Frome), shown in the photo c1900, were demolished. Some of the mill buildings are now houses and flats.
Lower Mills and Upper Mills (at Bridgend, Stonehouse) are believed to be on the sites of the two mills mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. In the drawings shown they were cloth mills run by the Davies family in the 19th century.
Today Lower Mills buildings house the Stonehouse Paper and Bag Mill.
During the first half of the 20th century Upper Mills was the site of the Brushworks. Now it is home to a number of small businesses.
Stanley Mill was a cloth mill on the road out of Stonehouse towards the Stanleys. In the 20th century it was run by Marling and Evans. It is now undergoing redevelopment.
Some photos of mills in the Stonehouse area.