1. A thousand years from East to West

Paper as we know it today first appeared in China nearly two thousand years ago. Although the word paper is derived from the papyrus used over 5000 years ago in Egypt, the two are only loosely connected. A piece of papyrus is actually a woven ‘mat’ made of many criss-crossed layers of thin strips of papyrus reed pounded together to form a thin sheet and then dried for use. It is not a form of paper. Paper is made from cellulose fibres, which when in water, become sticky and form an even mat.Read more

2. Paper moves westward

It wasn’t until the 3rd century that the secret art of papermaking began to creep out of China, first to Vietnam and then Tibet.Read more

4. The Fourdrinier Paper Machine

With the ever increasing demands that the new Industrial Revolution was creating for commication, the mechanisation of papermaking became a priority - in keeping with the spirit of the new age.Read more

3. The 'secret' spreads north

From its introduction into Europe, the 'secret' of papermaking slowly made its way northward hampered by a variety of political, economic and religious vested interests and protectionism.Read more

6. Papermaking in the UK

The earliest know English document written on paper is dated 1309. However, paper was not to be made in England until over 150 years later. The first recorded paper mill in the United Kingdom was Sele Mill near Hertford owned by John Tate. Founded around 1488, this mill was visited by King Henry VII some 10 years later and a report of it was printed by Wynken de Worde. Sheets bearing John Tate’s watermark have been found in books printed in 1494.Read more

8. Frogmore Mill & The British Paper Company

For a place that might justifiably be said to have truely 'changed the world', there is not a great deal of information documenting its early history or even its immediate, post paper-machine history although its history ahs bee a long one......Read more