The Countess Wear Paper Mill
The Museum’s main 2019 exhibition explores the history of paper making.
The Countess Wear Mill, on an island in the River Exe, is now shrouded in greenery and home to roosting bats, but it was once a busy factory ringing with the noise of heavy machinery. Old clothes, sailcloth and rope arrived by barge and were sorted by women and girls. Hammers and beaters, powered by water and coal, reduced the rags to pulp which was steeped in vats, sieved and pressed to make paper for banknotes and newsprint.
Come along and see the model of the mill, painstakingly made by an apprentice in the nineteenth century and rediscovered many years later in a Countess Wear attic.
Discover how fire and changing times brought an end to production, and hardship to ‘a goodly number’ of local inhabitants.
The Exhibition opens on Saturday 30 March.