Journey back to Victorian times

Honiton Community Primary School goes back in time for trip to Coldharbour Mill.

PUPILS and staff from Honiton Community Primary School turned back the clock yesterday (Tuesday) for a trip to a 200-year-old mill.

They got into the spirit of the trip by dressing up in Victorian costumes.

Built by Thomas Fox to spin woollen and later worsted yarns in 1799, Coldharbour Mill, Uffculme, is a rare example of surviving Georgian architecture, industry and enterprise.

Since reopening as a museum in 1982, the mill has continued to produce high quality worsted knitting yarn on its period machinery.

The visitors from Honiton enjoyed a fascinating factory tour to understand how the hand processes of spinning and weaving are performed on machines and the role of Thomas Fox in bringing these new inventions into the South West. They also learnt about Victorian mill conditions and how Quaker attitudes influenced the treatment and welfare of mill employees, many of whom were children.

The mill boasts an impressive array of power sources, including a recently restored 1821 High Breast Shot Water Wheel, the largest in the South West, an 1867 Kittoe and Brotherhood Beam Engine, a rare 1910 Pollit and Wigzell 300hp steam engine and a Lancashire Boiler.