The Gade Valley is Paper Valley and through its unique standing as the birthplace of paper's industrial revolution, it's important international role on mass communication cannot be overlooked; though sadly humble paper itself usually is.
Two Waters (also known as Top Mill) First made Paper 1763, From 1791 used by Fourdriniers. Mill No 400 in Excise list. By 1818 occupied by Thomas Nichols, then from 1853 George Watkin Hayes when there were four beating engines for one 62” m/c. In 1877 went bankrupt but mill then in use by John Dickinson & Co for 7 years to prepare esparto half stuff. From 1818 the owners were the Grand Junction Canal Co.Read more
Frogmore mill was also known as Frogmoor Mill and Covent Mill. Frogmore Mill was named in a charter of Ashridge Monastery and the mill was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as a corn mill, later changing to fulling then to papermaking in 1774.Read more
Apsley Mill first made Paper in 1778 and was known as Mill No 403 in the Excise List. Bought by John Dickinson in 1809, it had ceased to make paper by 1888. Thereafter the Mill concentrated on converting paper from company’s other mills into stationery, particularly envelopes, cards and ledgers. Also laminated card for railway tickets etc. by pasting layers of paper/board together. The mill, known now as DRG (Dickinson Robinson Group) closed in 1990.Read more
Nash was a mill site at the time of the Domesday Book (1086) and had certainly been there at least 100 years prior to that. Paper was first made at Nash in 1769 and was known as Mill No 402 in the Excise List. It was bought by John Dickinson in 1811, only ceasing to make paper in 2006, when owned by SAPPI (South African Pulp and Paper Industries), whose core product had become coated paper and Nash was unable to make it. The main products until 1980 were board grades.Read more
Home Park Mill stood opposite where Kings Langley station still stands. Home Park was built by John Dickinson and first made paper 1826. It was known as Mill No 614 in the Excise List. The main products were coated (coloured) boards. It was closed by DRG in December 1980.Read more
Croxley Mill was built by John Dickinson and first made paper in 1830. it was Mill No 693 in the Excise List. It was the main centre for making paper from the 1880’s, had a specialised plant for converting esparto grass to pulp. From 1898 it had its own internal railway connected to the main lines for deliveries of coal. It was closed by the Dickinson Robinson Group in December 1980.Read more
Batchworth Mill first made paper in 1755 and was known as Mill No 433 in the Excise List. The mill was occupied by the Fourdriniers when John Dickinson took it over for the production of half-stuff for use at his other mills (Apsley and Nash at that time) in 1818. Note that this is the same year that the canal was diverted at Apsley and so he would have used the canal for transportation.Read more
The fascinating tale of the re-routing of the Grand Junction Canal; the canal we now know as The Grand Union Canal wasn't always where it is today!
Our local portion from Two Waters towards Kings Langley the route followed the contour of the hillside for 1½ miles before descending 28ft to the river level by a ‘ladder’ of four locks. There is now no trace of the four locks which were close to where the railway bridge crosses the canal.Read more