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Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings are hosting a paw-tastic Summer during the school holidays. Join the team on site as they explore the stories of our fictional site cats, Flax and Barley. Help create their adventures around the Flaxmill Maltings, Shrewsbury and beyond!


Every Tuesday and Thursday the team will be running free family friendly activities, ‘Stories with Flax and Barley’ as you join the mischievous moggies in a free guided story-telling session exploring the buildings of the Flaxmill Maltings and beyond.


After a 15-minute break the team will be hosting creative drop-in sessions in the Dye House – ‘Stories and Pawtraits’. Write or draw your own stories of Flax and Barley. Where have they visited today? What adventures have they got up to? Your own stories and Pawtraits could well appear in a book to be published later this year.


A self-guided trail, the ‘Paw Trail’ follows Flax and Barley’s journey around the historic site. Visitors can complete tasks and answer their questions to learn more about the animals who have lived and still live in and around these iconic buildings.


This Summer, Kids go Free into The Mill exhibition, an unmissable exhibition that tells the fascinating story of the building that was the grandparent of the modern skyscraper. Learn all about this internationally important building, and the lives of the people who worked here. The Mill exhibition, shop and Turned Wood café will be open 7 days a week for the school holidays, from Monday 22 July to Sunday 1 September 2024.


Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings will be putting on special family friendly behind-the-scenes tours this summer holidays. On Fridays at 11am from 26 July to 30 August, you can enjoy a family friendly tour where you can learn more about the history of the site and see parts of the buildings you cannot see without a guide! These tours will be interactive and engaging for all members of the family.


Find out more at: www.shrewsburyflaxmillmaltings.org.uk/whats-on/


· Kids Go Free into The Mill exhibition Monday 22 July to Sunday 1 September 2024, 10am to 4pm. Book online to guarantee your booking. T&C’s apply – full paying adult required. For more information visit our website

· Stories with Flax and Barley: Every Tuesday and Thursday at 11am prompt for 45 minutes from 23 July to 29 August in the Dye House. Each session explores a different Flax and Barley adventure. Free, no need to book. For ages 3 to 8 years. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times

· Stories & Pawtraits: Every Tuesday and Thursday, 12 noon to 3pm from 23 July to 29 August in the Dye House. Free, no need to book. Drop in sessions. Return visits are welcome to continue and develop your own stories. For ages 3 to 11 years. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times

· Paw Trails: Available every day in the summer holidays 10am – 4pm. Free, no need to book. Pick up your trail in the shop and come back to the shop at the end to claim your sticker. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times

· The activities are part of the Activity Plan, a significant component within the overall capital scheme and funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund

· The National Lottery Heritage Fund funded restoration with grants totalling £20.7 million for restoration and repair of the historic site

· Following a grant of £12million from The National Lottery Heritage Fund in 2014, Phase 1 of the restoration project focused on the Smithy, Stables and Public Realm. In 2017 it was increased to a total of £20.7 million for Phase 2, restoration of the Main Mill, Kiln and repair of other buildings and landscape.

· Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings re-opened in September 2023, following a £28 million, eight-year restoration programme.

The History of Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings

Known as the ‘grandparent of skyscrapers’, the Main Mill structure paved the way for modern-day buildings such as London’s Shard, New York’s Empire State Building and Dubai’s Burj Khalifa

Following the site’s beginnings as a flax mill and major local employer for the area from 1797-1886, it was repurposed into a modern maltings, which operated from 1897 to 1987, converting grain into malt for brewing, whisky making and vinegar production. The site was also used as a temporary army barracks during the Second World War.


The site has been sustainably restored by Historic England in partnership with Shropshire Council and the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings, funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership via its Growth Deal with Government and Shropshire Council.


Four of the eight listed buildings that make up the site – the Smithy, Stables, Main Mill and Kiln – are now fully restored, following redevelopment under Historic England’s ownership with the help of architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios,


The four remaining listed buildings – the Cross Mill, the Dye House, Apprentice House and the Warehouse – still need funding to bring them back to life. It is hoped that they will be restored in the coming years, once plans for how they will be used and funding to carry out the restoration works are in place.

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