Shotley Grove Low Mill

This paper mill was completed in 1828, after severe flooding of the Derwent river in July that year had caused much destruction.

Sixteen years earlier, John Annandale, an influential businessman from Scotland, had acquired a mill and land and called it Shotley Grove. He developed it with new technology to produce paper. This was his High Mill, a little further up river.

Shotley Grove paper mills were the first in the North of England and were some of the largest in England during the 19th century. In 1881 about 300 workers were employed and peak production reached 95 tons per week in 1894. However just 14 years later in 1908 the mills were closed, due to the introduction of paper production from wood pulp and cheap foreign imports. 

The success of Annandale’s Paper Mills brought employment and wealth to the area after the decline in sword making. Paper-making led to Shotley Grove being renowned countrywide. HMSO used its cartridge paper and Telford’s family bible was printed on Annandale Paper.

By 1937, all the mill buildings were demolished, except for Shotley Grove and Azalea Houses. The last chimney was felled in 1951.