The Wandle Trail

Industries of the Wandle

The Wandle Today

Industries of the Wandle

Industries of the Wandle

Even though the Wandle is only 19km(11m) long, it has supported many industries. 

The first mills were corn mills, then came fulling mills. In the 17th century the number of mills increased and so did the products. The mills produced paper, gunpowder, iron, dyes and copper. Into the 18th century the number of mills grew producing snuff, leather, drugs (not drugs as we think of them but oils from herbs), peppermint, oil mills (such as lavender oils), calico and silk.

In its heyday the river boasted between 49 and 51 mills.

Some of these industries survived into the 20th & 21st centuries.

Snuff, sports equipment, elastic ropes, leather and beer were still being produced along the Wandle, not necessarily still using water power.