History in Structure

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Cloth Finishing Works at Tone Mills North Range Including Dyehouse and Reservoirs

A Grade II* Listed Building in Wellington, Somerset

We don't have any photos of this building yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »


Latitude: 50.9892 / 50°59'20"N

Longitude: -3.247 / 3°14'49"W

OS Eastings: 312570

OS Northings: 121823

OS Grid: ST125218

Mapcode National: GBR LV.KTG2

Mapcode Global: FRA 462H.JV5

Plus Code: 9C2RXQQ3+M5

Entry Name: Cloth Finishing Works at Tone Mills North Range Including Dyehouse and Reservoirs

Listing Date: 21 July 2000

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1271246

English Heritage Legacy ID: 487083

Location: Wellington, Somerset West and Taunton, Somerset, TA21

County: Somerset

District: Somerset West and Taunton

Civil Parish: Wellington

Built-Up Area: Wellington

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset

Church of England Parish: Wellington St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Bath and Wells

Tagged with: Architectural structure

Find accommodation in



ST1221 Cloth Finishing Works at Tone Mills,
759/3/10001 North Range, including Dyehouse and
21-JUL-2000 Reservoirs


Textile finishing works and associated water management and storage system, disused at the time of inspection (June 2000) . c.1830, with further C19 and early C20 additions and alterations, developed by Fox Brothers and Co of Tonedale Mills, Wellington.

Rubble stone and red brickwork, with slated and glazed roof coverings.

PLAN: Irregular, accretional plan, developed to the north and south of a bend in the River Tone, from which water for processing was drawn and treated in a reservoir to the west of the factory. The factory is comprised of a RESERVOIR and SLUICE GATES, a DYEHOUSE COMPLEX, a FINISHING WORKS with ENGINE HOUSE and integral WATER WHEEL CHAMBER, and 2 BOILER HOUSES.

EXTERIORS: Roughly triangular raised brick RESERVOIR for the storage of water for treatment prior to use in cloth finishing processes with metal SLUICE GATES controlling water flow from the River Tone, sited to the west of the building complex. To the east of this, a brick built FINISHING WORKS, with a multi-ridge shed roof to the central part of the complex, and associated structures on its margins, including a storeyed range to the north-west (believed to be a former dryhouse shown on a Tithe map of 1839), partially of pier and panel construction, single storeyed late C19 engine house with 2 arch-headed windows to south-west elevation and 2 storeyed ancillary building which housed later electric motor and drive mechanism. The works incorporates a WATER WHEEL CHAMBER, with wheelpit and machinery from the earliest phase of development. Further south, the DYEWORKS, shown on the 1839 map, and developed in 3 phases, reaching its fullest extent in the early C20. Northernmost section of 2 storeys of rubble stone with red brick dressings, with steeply-pitched roofs. The wider gable has a clock face , the lower, narrower part has a relocated C18 datestone, and appears to have been an attached engine house. To the east, a tall, single storeyed structure incorporating apex ventilation louvres, and, further south, a later north-light shed, orientated north-west / south-east with stone flanking wall. To the west of this, a stone built north-light shed, attached to the south end of the finishing works engine house, possibly the boiler house known to have been added in 1883-4. Further west, a rectangular boiler house adjoins the south wall of the reservoir, of red brick with a triple span slated roof, with 2 symmetrical roofs flanking an asymmetrical north light ridge.

INTERIORS: Finishing works aligned north-east/ south-west with interior sections defined by longitudinal timber beams supported by arcades of cast iron columns. These also support line shafting used to power 2 rows of in-situ fulling and tentering machines for cloth finishing. The roof also supports line shafting driven from the water wheel chamber located in the south-western part of the works. This corresponds to the position of the wheel house shown on the 1839 works. The chamber contains an ashlar-lined wheelpit with breastwork, cast iron sluices, water flow mechanism, and the remains of a metal suspension wheel with ring gearing. Associated vertical drive shaft and belt drums in south-west corner of chamber. Engine house with remains of decorative wall tile finishes and engine mountings. Ancillary room with main drive wheel, line shafting and clutch mechanism. Dye works with massive queen post roof trusses, supporting attic level walkway. Inserted metal water tank at west end, and in-situ vats. Boiler house to west with lightweight metal construction comprised of trussed principals and iron vertical and horizontal tie rods. Internal walls pierced by arched openings.

HISTORY: Tone Works was the dyeing and finishing works established by Fox Brothers and Co of Tonedale Mills, Wellington, at the confluence of the River Tone and the Back Stream. The site is shown on the Tithe map of 1839, and the works was enlarged and altered over the next 80 years. In 1912 the site was described as having "perhaps the largest Indigo Dye House in England". The site continued in production until the 1990's.

Tone Works is a near-complete example of a C19 cloth dyeing and finishing works, which developed between c.1830 and c.1920. It retains all of the component structures associated with the dyeing and finishing of worsted and woollen cloths, together with the machinery and fittings required for those processes Tone Works in its present form is an exceptional survival in a national context, not only for the completeness of the building complex, but also for the survival of its machinery, water management system and power generation plant.

The asset was previously listed twice also at List entry 1381210. This entry was removed from the List on 29th May 2015.

Listing NGR: ST1257021823

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.