Bourton Mill, nr Gillingham, Dorset

On the second day of our Devon & Dorset camping trip, we stopped at Bourton in North Dorset near Gillingham to check out Bourton Mill. Having only seen one report online of a fairly battered and near-ruin state we weren’t holding out for much.

With the graffiti and sheer carnage aside, there’s still some nice features and machinery in place at Bourton. The mill was actually mentioned in the Doomsday Book and has operated under many different guises. From supplying canvas to the Royal Navy it also produced boilers, steam lorries and gas engines. During the First World War, Mills Bombs (hand grenades to you and me) were also made here until a flood destroyed the machinery. In 1933 Bourton Mill re-opened as a dried milk plant and continued to produce throughout WW2 until it’s closure in 1998.

My favourite part was the water feature running through the centre of the mill. We all heard running water but assumed the rain was coming down hard outside, we didn’t think we’d find such a diamond in the rough of this dereliction!

The mill has clearly been left to the elements and vandals. We walked around the site for over an hour without any trouble or seeing anyone else at all.

GeneratorsUrban DecayBrickworkAbandoned MillWaterfallAbandoned Mill (1)Mill MachineryPlastic DoorwayLockersDSC_0079DSC_0082DSC_0084DSC_0086DSC_0088DSC_0092DSC_0096DSC_0098DSC_0101DSC_0105DSC_0108

Report by - August 2011

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7 Responses to “Bourton Mill, nr Gillingham, Dorset”

  1. Jim Mann says:

    Great images and a fascinating place but you need to be aware Bourton Mill is full of asbestos much of in in a poor state.

    So although it’s a great location I’d skip it if were you and just look at the images already taken.

    Jim

    • Thanks Jim,

      I couldn’t agree more. The place is a death trap for anyone not taking the correct care and attention visiting it. Although I think the precarious state of the roof in some areas is worth mentioning too!

  2. Sam Rushton says:

    Went there a weekend ago for a photoshoot ! amazing place Did you happen to stumble past a set of 3 rooms and the middle one was blacked out ? while in there all or electrical equipment went dead on two different occasions ! creepy Huh ?

    • Yeh it’s a great little explore and I’ve found new things every time I visit! I’m not sure I know where you’re talking about but I don’t really buy in to the whole paranormal thing though ;)

    • Rob Spencer says:

      I worked at Bourton Mill for about ten years until just before it finally closed. The room I think you must be referring to was called the “Hot Room”. It had banks of steam radiators and the walls were cork lined. Machinery that had been washed was placed in there to ensure it dried quickly.
      My father worked at the factory before me until retirement and I don’t recall any paranormal tales about the place.

      • Thanks for the interesting insight Rob! I was just looking at your Bourton set on Flickr and its amazing to see how much it’s changed in the last few years! Fantastic!

    • neil says:

      Funny you should say that I visited the place one night about a year ago and upon exploring I was videoing with my Phone and it died on me with over 60 percent battery and wouldn’t turn back on, when we left it was fine, very creepy place but great to explore,

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