The Fulling Mill

The Fulling Mill across the River Alre dates from the 13th century. It is now a private house and it was saved from dereliction in 1951 when it was renovated and the now beautiful garden laid out. It had become derelict having fallen into disuse in the 19th century when the cloth industry established large mills to undertake an increasingly mechanised process taking all of the business from established local mills.

The fulling of cloth is a process to tighten and shrink the cloth into a closely woven product. In early times the pressing and kneading was done by human feet, in shallow streams, using fullers earth. By medieval times water power was being used to drive hammers to do the work once done by human feet. The water mills constructed for this purposes were known as fulling mills and for centuries the surrounding area resounded to the hammering of the fulling stocks as they prepared the cloth.

 

alsford