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Last October, site owners Historic England welcomed the show’s film crew and presenter, Raj Bisram, to site. They spent the day with Nick Hill, who was interviewed for the programme.

Viewers will get to hear all about the fascinating story of the world’s first iron-framed building during a short segment in the antique-hunting programme. 

Nick Hill, National Conservation Projects Manager, Historic England said:

“The Main Mill at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings, with its pioneering cast-iron frame, is the building that launched a thousand skylines. It paved the way for structures to be built taller and is therefore known as the grandparent of skyscrapers. It is always a delight to share the story of the world’s first iron-framed building with a new audience.

The focus of the current restoration is the Grade I listed Main Mill and Grade II Kiln. This part of the project will be completed in 2022, when the Flaxmill Maltings will open and we will welcome people to eat, learn, visit, work and enjoy everything this amazing place has to offer.”


The Main Mill and Kiln at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings are currently being responsibly restored for a third century of use. 

Built in 1797, the Flaxmill Maltings had two centuries of use, first as a flax mill, then a maltings and also as a training centre and barracks during World War II. The saw-tooth roofed Main Mill was the first iron-framed building in the world and its pioneering iron frame was the template on which today’s skyscrapers were based.

The restoration of the Grade I listed Main Mill and the Grade II Kiln at the Flaxmill Maltings is taking place, supported by a £20.7 million grant thanks to National Lottery players through The National Lottery Heritage Fund, combined with the additional funding from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership via its Growth Deal with Government, and from project partners Historic England, Shropshire Council and the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings.

The Future 

The revitalised site will become a new learning and enterprise quarter for Shrewsbury, with high quality offices for the region’s growing creative industries that will help drive the town’s renaissance as a regional economic hub, as it was when Shropshire led the way in the Industrial Revolution. 

The Historic England and Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings teams are busy behind the scenes, bringing the site back to life so everyone can enjoy it when the buildings open in 2022. There will be four floors of office space for businesses to rent, and a new visitor experience, gift shop and café which will be open to the public.

The episode will air on BBC One on Thursday 3 February 2022 at 4.30pm.

For more information about the restoration please visit: ShrewsburyFlaxmillMaltings.org.uk

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