Three Mills

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The Clock Mill at Three Mills in Bow

Three Mills were working Mills on the River Lee in the East End of London. The River Lea Tidal Mill Trust Ltd operate the buildings, for educational and other projects. The Lower Lea Project are also based at Three Mills. Nearby, the Three Mills Studios are a 20 acre (81,000 m²) film studios, making a large number of major films and television programmes.

It is thought that there were 8 or 9 mills on the River Lee in Stratford in 1066 or at the time of the Domesday Book. These would there have been the earliest examples of a tidal mill system.

The area became known as Three Mills in medieval times, and milled for the bakers of Stratford-atte-Bow, bread going to the City of London. In 1588, one of the mills was described as a gunpowder mill.

The House Mill which was built in 1776 by Daniel Bisson is a grade I listed building: it is the only Grade 1 Listed building in the London Borough of Newham. The Clock Mill was rebuilt by Philip Metcalfe between 1815 and 1817 incorporating the old clock, and an older bell. There was also a windmill which survived until about 1840. The House Mill continued to operate until 1940 and the Clock Mill until 1952.

In 1872 the Nicholson family, a gin producer in Clerkenwell, acquired Three Mills. Distilling ceased after the mills sustained severe air-raid damage during the Second World War. Three Mills was used for bottling and warehousing by Bass Charrington and Hedges & Butler.

The House Mill is now being restored by the River Lea Tidal Mill Trust and is open to visitors on Sunday afternoons during the summer.

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Coordinates: 51°31′38.29″N, 00°00′27.25″W

Three Mills

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