Nailsworth textile centre plans are unveiled

Longfords Mill
Image caption The Old Mill (centre), which is Grade II listed, could become home to a new textile centre

A visitor centre celebrating the history of Gloucestershire's woollen industry could be set up in an old mill near Stroud.

The textile centre at Longfords Mill near Nailsworth will feature displays of historic machinery, woven fabric, photographs and documents.

The Stroudwater Textile Trust (STT) has commissioned a feasibility study on how best to develop part of the site.

About 125 cloth mills operated in the Stroudwater area 200 years ago.

Chairman of the trust, Anthony Burton, said: "We have long wanted to make the fascinating history of the local woollen industry better known and understood, particularly its links with the present day.

"We want the centre to provide a good day out for visitors and be a place to which they will return again and again."

Part of the site known as the Old Mill, which is Grade II listed, would be used as the new centre.

Its basement already contains a collection of steam, water and diesel power-generating machinery, which the trust is hoping to restore and demonstrate.

Cloth was woven at about 125 mills in the Stroudwater area between 1750 and 1820, with Longfords Mill operating until 1990.

When the site closed the 38 listed buildings were developed into a group of homes.

The STT is a group of local people who got together to promote awareness of the past importance of the woollen industry in the Stroud Valleys.

As part of the continuing development of the site, owners Builders Ede, selected the STT to look at creating the new textile centre.

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