Ebley Mill Ebley Chapel Ebley House Ebley Court Oil Mill Bridge House
GRO Ebley Mill 2003
What: Historic Mill Site
Where: GL6 1SA  Off Westward Road, south of the canal
Then: There has been a mill at Ebley since at least 1393.
Now: Stroud District Council offices since 1990

Today, Ebley Mill is the headquarters of Stroud District Council, but the handsome stone buildings were built as a cloth mill in the 19th century.

There has been a mill at Ebley since at least 1393, when it was probably a watermill for grinding corn. The buildings originally stood on the north side of the canal.

After 1800, when the mill was acquired by the Clissold family, it was relocated to a new building on the south side of the canal, and water power was supplemented by a steam engine. The oldest of the surviving main buildings, Long Mill, was built in 1818-20 by the Clissold family.

About 1825, Ebley Mill was bought by the London textile firm of Evans, Robson & Severs, one of the partners in which was S.S. Marling. It was his involvement with Ebley Mill which brought the Marling family to the Stroud area. The firm was later called Marling & Evans, and became a limited company in 1886. By 1870, the mill employed some 800 workers.

Marling expanded Ebley Mill and constructed a new mill pond to supply the five water wheels. The Greenaways Block, to the west of the main building, was built about 1840. After a fire in 1859, which destroyed the pedimented front range of the mill, a large new building was added in 1865, to the designs of the leading architect, G.F. Bodley. Bodley is better known as a church architect, and had designed Selsley church for Marling a few years earlier.

During the Second World War, part of the building was converted to the spinning of hosiery yarn, and the remainder housed the carding and spinning processes for Marling & Evans factory at Stanley Mill. After the war, part of the complex was taken over by a printing firm. The south-west block of the mill was demolished in 1965.

In 1987-90, the Long Mill and Bodley's extensions were converted to offices for Stroud District Council by Niall Phillips Architects of Bristol. The cost was reputed to be £11 million, which caused a major outcry amongst the ratepayers, but the conversion secured the preservation one of the finest stone-built mills in the country.

From January 2016, this website is managed by Stroud Local History Society

Revised 2018 EMW