History of Gigg Mill

Gigg Mill before 1900 courtesy of Mrs Mumford

Gigg Mill before 1900
(courtesy of Mrs Mumford)

Gigg Mill is built on the Horsley brook at a spot where the stream plunges down in to the Nailsworth Valley. In the early 1900s power was still provided by a 17 foot diameter waterwheel.

The small mill is unpretentious, however this is a historic mill-site. Its origins are uncertain but it was part of the estate of a clothier which he bought in 1559. When the Castleman family inherited the estate in 1751 Gigg was mentioned.

However there is little to say about what happened here until John Remmington bought the estate in the 1790s. He probably rebuilt the mill to house the new carding and spinning machinery, just as he did further up the valley at Horsley Mill. Gigg, nowadays so small and tucked away, was part of the Industrial Revolution.

Remmington prospered, adding a sumptuous front to his house up the hill. His cloth was bought by the East India Company for sale to China. An entry in the Company books briefly records the final settlement after his retirement:

December 1811 Broadcloth J. Rimmington £180

So for a time Gigg was in touch with the wider world. But the site was too restricted to compete with large mills in the valley. Also its isolation meant transport costs were high. So its demise as a cloth mill seems inevitable. Then in the 1860s a fire destroyed part of the mill. Only a tiny drawing survives to suggest the mill stood three storeys high with a row of six windows on each floor.

Visit the Weaving Shed at Gigg Mill