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Somerset Historic Environment Record


Site Name: Carey's Mill and Parrett Iron Works, Carey's mill, Martock
Civil Parish: Martock
PRN 52605Carey's Mill Bridge and walling to south-east, Carey's Mill
PRN 52606House on east side of road, about 30 metres north-east of Carey's Mill Bridge, Carey's Mill,
PRN 52607Carey's Mill Cottage (formerly listed as Manager's House at Parrett Iron Works), Carey's Mill
PRN 52608Parrett House, Carey's Mill
PRN 52609Garden-River wall, west and south-west of Parrett House, Carey's Mill
PRN 52610Waterwheel house and throughway about 35 metres south west of Parret House, Carey's Mill
PRN 52611Sluice and sluice keepers house, about 100 metres south of Parrett House (formerly listed as Weir Keepers Cottage at Parrett Iron Works), Carey's Mill
PRN 52612Main building of the former Parrett Iron Works (formerly listed as Mill at Parret Iron Works), Carey's Mill
PRN 52613Boiler chimney to Parrett Works, attached to south side of Parrett Iron Works, Carey's mill
PRN 52614Range of workshop buildings attached to north-east of main block of former Parrett Iron Works, Carey's Mill
PRN 52615Range of workshop buildings about 15 metres south east of main block of the former Parrett Iron Works, Carey's Mill
PRN 52616Former rope walk, about 65 metres south-east of main building, Parrett Iron Works, Carey's Mill
PRN 52617Nos 1 and 2 Parrett Works Cottages, Carey's Mill
PRN 52618Nos 3 and 4 Parrett Works Cottages, Carey's Mill
PRN 52619Nos 5 and 6 Parrett Works Cottages, Carey's Mill
Grid Ref: ST 446 186 (ST 41 NW)
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Image: Image of HER 54224 - Photo by Somerset County Council (October 1979)
  HER 54224 - Photo by Somerset County Council (October 1979)

Public access:

The public accessibility of this site is unknown or has not been checked. Please ask locally and do not visit without permission. [Information last updated on 21 May 2003]


There were two mills in Martock Manor in 1086 paying 35s, probably corresponding with the two long established mills in the parish, Madey mill (PRN 54222) and Walters, later Carey's mill. The two were let for £12 in 1293-4 and in 1302 they were valued at 60s. Walter's mill was granted to William Gardner in 1592. Described in 1750 as two copyhold water grist mills and a malt mill called Walters mill. One of the mills had become a snuff mill by 1811, and in 1838 Henry Cary (d.1840) was occupying two houses and a warehouse on the site and R.B Hansford a house and mill. There were two mills on 1841. Carey's mill was unoccupied in 1853 but by 1857 the site had become the Parrett iron works. {1}

The works have been the subject of study by Dr S.D Chapman (Liverpool University) but not yet published although some plans have been deposited in the Somerset Record Office. The chimney of the works is disguised as an Italian campanile. Operations ceased c1941. {2}

"Parrett Iron works", "Parrett works (malting, webs, twines etc.)" printed on 1904 map. {4}

By 1857 the West of England Engineering and Coker Canvas Company had acquired the Carey's mill site, renamed it the Parrett Works, and were producing horizontal, high pressure and condensing engines for mining companies traction engines, threshing machines, water wheels, corn mills, flax and spinning machinery, power looms and Parson's parent iron and wooden wheels. A new power loom shed was opened in 1866. Economic pressures forced the company to discontinue yarn and canvas making and in 1869 it went into liquidation. By 1875 the works had been taken over by two firms - William Sibley's West of England Engineering Company, millwrights and iron and brass builders, and G H Smith, makers of Napier matting, blind and sash corns, rope and twine. Sibley's continued there in 1923 but had gone by 1931 leaving Smiths, who were still operating in 1941. In 1974 the premises were held by the West of England Warehouses and also used by the Somervale Foods and Somerset Joinery. {6}

The mill on the site in the early 19th century was for the manufacturing if snuff. In 1859 George Parsons had built more buildings for the production of flax dressing. Later a large iron and brass foundry was erected on the site under William Sibley and Sons, and then rope and twine making by GH Smith. SIAS undertook a survey of the chimney, the mill and manger's house in 1978. The chimney showed signs of Italian campanile. The mill had iron framed windows, a bell, an iron spiral staircase and a water pipe that served each of the four levels. There was also a water wheel that was still in situ with George Parsons name on it. The manger's house had a large safe and a fireplace that seemed earlier in date. {8}

The Ordnance Survey surveyors' drawings of 1807 shows the site as 'Snuff-mill' and shows extensive development. These details are further clarified by a parish map c.1823 of Martock Mill. This depicts a range of buildings and yards with a direct leat from the river. There is a large relief weir and pond, the latter also being fed by a small water channel from the river to the south. The evidence suggests a works on an industrial scale with steam and waterpowered pestels and mortars, similar to the surviving machinery at Sharrow Mill, Sheffield. {10}


1 Description - Dunning, RW (ed). Victoria History of the County of Somerset.  Vol. 4 (1978), 99-100.
2 Verbal communication - Murless, B [Brian]. Somerset Industrial Archaeological Society (14/02/1978). Location: Verbal, electronic or direct entry, no source retained
3 Historical reference - Plans of Parrett Works, Martock.  (1865-78) Somerset Record Office. Reference: DD/X/GSN/1.
4 Map - Ordnance Survey 1:10,560 County Series Second Edition map. Sheet: 72SW. (1904).
5 Historical reference - Photograph of engraving of the Parrett Works.  (undated) Somerset Record Office. Reference: DD/X/LIV/4.
6 Mention - Anon. Parrett Iron Works. Somerset Industrial Archaeological Society Journal.  3 (1981), 36-8
7 Mention - Warren, D. Somerset's Industrial Heritage: A Guide and Gazetteer.  (1996), 36. Somerset Industrial Archaeology Society survey no 8.
8 Mention - Anon. Parrett Iron Works. Somerset Industrial Archaeological Society Bulletin  15 (February 1978), not paginated. Copy available in Local Studies collection at Somerset Heritage Centre.
9 Mention - Buchanan, CA. From Field to Factory: Flax and Hemp in Somerset's History after 1750.  (2008) Somerset Industrial Archaeology Society survey 18. Copy held in Somerset Studies Library, Taunton
10 Correspondence - Murless, BJ (Brian), Somerset Industrial Archaeological Society email to Somerset County Council Historic Environment Record (26/8/2014). Location: Verbal, electronic or direct entry, no source retained
11 Historical reference - British Library Online Gallery: Ordnance Survey Drawings (52 - South Petherton). (Accessed 27/8/2014).
12 Historical reference - Map of Martock.  (c.1823) Available at Archives and Records at Somerset Heritage Centre. Reference: DD/SAS/C212/MAP/93

Record created in December 1984

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