Restoration of the roof has been completed on the 1797 Grade 1 listed Main Mill at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings, marking a major milestone in the restoration of the buildings.
Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings was the first building in the world built with an iron frame and its design is the forerunner of the modern skyscraper. It was the city’s largest employer during the industrial revolution, manufacturing linen thread from flax. After it closed in 1886, it was reopened as a Malthouse for the brewing industry. Part of the complex was used as a barracks during the Second World War, and it was finally closed in 1987, falling into decline.
Historic England took ownership of the site in 2005 and FCBStudios have been acting as strategic advisors and architects to stabilise, repair and adapt the site to create a new learning and enterprise quarter for Shrewsbury.
The temporary roof has now been taken down, revealing the roof for the first time in a decade. Its unusual sawtooth profile has been carefully restored using Welsh slate and specially made cast iron gutters to match the original. Restored window openings required 30,000 new handmade bricks to match the original which were deliberately oversized to avoid a brick tax.
Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said: "This moment, seeing the scaffolding coming down after a decade, and the original roof completely restored, is a significant milestone in the project to restore Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings. The sensitively renovated building will create a much-needed hub for the area - of industry, learning, and creativity.”
Work continues and is scheduled to complete in 2021.