Amazing London: Three Mills, Bow
I wrote this post a year ago but Makers at the Mill is on again now so am re-posting with details of this year’s exhibition in the text.
Coming out of the tube at Bromley-by-Bow station in East London you are faced with a thundering dual carriageway and a mammoth supermarket looming over the road. However within yards of this scene you are in another world.
Cross the road by the underpass, walk towards the supermarket (you can’t miss it and there is also a sign for Three Mills). Turn right into Three Mill Lane, walk past the supermarket car park and to the left you will see a road with a barrier across it. This is where you need to go. Full directions can be found here.
I had heard of Three Mills Lane and Three Mills Studios but had no idea that two of these three mills would still exist. House Mill was built in 1776 and although no longer working (it stopped producing flour in 1941) it is the largest existing tidal mill in the world. The other surviving mill is Clock Mill which isn’t open to the public. They are both on the banks of the River Lea (and at the edge of the Olympics site).
This year’s exhibition (showing work by designers and artists inspired by the Mill) is on again now and I popped along yesterday, 20th July. Having bought one painting already this week at a charity sale, I could very easily have bought another if my bank balance had allowed it. I particularly liked the paintings by Mary Swan – which were very atmospheric.
The exhibition is on until 28th July and opening times and location are shown on the picture below. Note: if you go along today (21st July) – there is no District Line service operating but there is a replacement bus which I took yesterday from Canning Town only 5 minutes’ journey away. They are open until 4pm on Sundays.
Although I discovered this a year ago it is still a complete and welcome shock to come off the busy dual carriageway and emerge into another world.