Historic mill revamps its handmade grades

By Andy Scott, Thursday 02 February 2006

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Wookey Hole is to relaunch its handmade paper grades, as the mill looks to expand into the commercial market sector.

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The mill at Wells in Somerset, once owned by paper producer Inveresk, has a papermaking history that dates back to 1610.

At the height of its paper production, it was the largest rag-made paper mill in Europe, producing 35,000 sheets every week.
Wookey Hole general manager Daniel Medley said the mill had a unique history, and was probably one of the few still making handmade paper in the UK.

The Victorian paper mill produces a range of handmade papers available for commercial sale, including products made from cotton, hemp and denim, along with art papers and stationery grades. All of which will be renamed to reflect the local area.

To coincide with the relaunch a website detailing the mill's history and products has also been developed.

Former circus impresario Gerry Cottle acquired the paper mill and Wookey Hole caves in January 2004.

Madame Tussauds bought the caves and attractions in 1973, before selling out to a management buy-out team in 1989, from whom Cottle purchased the attraction.

The site had been on the market for 15 months, with an asking price of 6.5m.

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