Frogmore Paper Mill is the world’s oldest mechanised paper mill – the birthplace of paper’s industrial revolution. Today it is still a working paper mill producing around 100 tonnes of specialist grade paper every year on historic paper machines.
The Apsley Paper Trail charity operates the site in order to conserve its unique history for the benefit of the public and future generations. The site is actually owned by Dacorum Borough Council but it is leased to the Apsley Paper Trail charity for 150 years.
The charity owns all the equipment inside the mill – specifically, two ‘fourdrinier’ paper machines that are each well over 100 years old – plus all the associated production equipment. In 2008 the charity was able to covert the two old store sheds (1880 and 1924) at the southern end of the mill site into a purpose built, heated visitor centre incorporating a cafe, shop, exhibition hall, gallery and large meeting room with financial support form the Heritage Lottery Fund. Here we can welcome visitors, explain the fascinating history of paper, demonstrate hand papermaking and letterpress printing and set out on a guided tour of the mill and its historic equipment.
If you are visiting during the winter months (October through to March) we do recommend that visitors dress warmly because the majority of the tour takes place in the un-heated production areas of the mill.
We look forward to welcoming you to what we promise will be a quite unique experience – the closest you will probably get to ‘Victorian’ industry that changed the world.