Our Visitor Centre is now closed until the full visitor attraction will open in Spring 2022. Please see our website for more details.
Situated on the northern edge of Shrewsbury, the internationally-important Flaxmill Maltings site reflects a time when Shropshire led the way in engineering.
The site comprises eight listed buildings, including the Main Mill, built in 1797 and the world’s first iron-framed building, paving the way for the modern skyscrapers. It is one of the most important buildings of the industrial revolution.
For nearly a century the site operated as a state-of-the-art steam-powered flaxmill spinning linen thread from flax.
As textile markets changed at the end of the 19th century and linen fell in popularity, the business declined and a new use needed to be found for the site. The complex stood empty for over a decade before being converted into a maltings by William Jones (Maltsters) Ltd, reopening in 1897-8.
During the Second World War, the Maltings was used as a Light Infantry Barracks and was known as the “Rat Hotel”.
Following the closure of the maltings in 1987, the future of the site and its important buildings became increasingly uncertain. Derelict for many years, the big challenge has been to identify a future for the site that protects and conserves the historic buildings while providing it with a viable and sustainable economic future.
Historic England bought the freehold in 2005 and partnered with Shropshire Council and the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings to save these extraordinary buildings and bring them back to use.
For a quick overview of our history, please view this short video. And if that has made you want to learn more, do get in touch to organise an online talk for your group.