Frogmore Mill has a long history, with a water mill first recorded on the site in the thirteenth century. As one of the mills in the Bulbourne and Gade valleys, Frogmore is bound up with the history of both the canal and paper-making.
Frogmore Mill, once called Covent Mill, was in use for paper-making in 1774 when Edward Holmes was the occupier. He leased it from Thomas Tower for £100 per annum and he was allowed to remove the flour milling equipment to make way for hand paper-making. The Fourdrinier brothers took over the nearby Two Waters Mill in 1792, when it was described as “a house, water corn mill and paper mill”.
The growth in trade and general wealth of Britain at the time resulted in an increasing demand for paper and many mills in river valleys around cities of the industrial revolution, especially London, became involved in the paper industry. All paper was then made by hand, the papermaker dipping a mould into a vat of fibre and water, the water being drained off and the resulting sheet of paper pressed and left to dry. The process was slow, expensive in terms of labour, and the size of the sheet of paper limited to that of the hand held mould.