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West Medina Mill, Northwood

Building West Medina Mill was started shortly after East Medina Mill by the same Mr Porter of Newport. However, building seems to have ceased in about 1793 due to lack of funds.

It's unclear whether the mill was operated as a mill in its early years. It's possible that the buildings were complete but milling equipment was not installed as the site was used as a hospital and barracks for mercenaries Dutch, and other, troops around 1800.

The first recorded industrial activity on the site seems to be in about 1840 when a cement works making 'Roman' Cement was established. In 1852, the firm of Charles Francis and Sons was operating the site and production switched to 'Portland' cement around that time. In 1900, the firm was amalgamated with the Associated Portland Cement Manufacturers and later that became Blue Circle Cement.

The site seems to have been chosen as it was built for a water mill with a mill pond to the south of the site - in later years, this was probably a source of water for their steam powered equipment.

With the coming of the railway running alongside the site, and the opening of the Newport to Sandown line, the site was ideally positioned to use chalk from the Shide Quarry rather than importing chalk via their river frontage as previously would have been necessary.

Manufacturing ceased at the site in 1944 and in later years, the site was just used for cement storage and distributed.

The site was redeveloped for Vistas Technology as a turbine blade R & D centre in the early 21st century.

See also: Northwood  -  Mills  -  Tidal Mills  -  Cement Works

Another resource:
    Vectis Cement Kilns

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