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Encyclopedia > Ditherington Flax Mill
Section of the rear of the main part of the Flaxmill
Section of the rear of the main part of the Flaxmill

Ditherington Flaxmill at Ditherington, a suburb of Shrewsbury is the oldest iron framed building in the world. As such, it is seen as the "grandfather of skyscrapers". It is also locally known as the "Maltings" from its later use. Ditherington is a district within the town of Shrewsbury, in Shropshire. ... Shrewsbury (pronounced either or ) is a town of 70,560 inhabitants [1] in Shropshire, England. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...

It is presently derelict, but is currently in the hands of English Heritage, who are maintaining it. In the long-term, it is hoped that the building will be able to make sufficient money to be self-supporting, but reaching this stage will require much investment.[1] English Heritage is a United Kingdom government body with a broad remit of managing the historic environment of England. ...

The Flax Mill was designed by William Strutt and built in 1797 for John Marshall of Leeds, Thomas Benyon, Benjamin Benyon and Charles Bage. It effectively overcame much of the problem of fire damage from flammable atmosphere, due to the air containing many fibres, by using a fireproof combination of cast iron columns and cast iron beams,[2] a system which later developed into the modern steel frame which made skyscrapers possible. The building, originally a flax mill was later converted to a maltings (hence its more commonly-used local name), and as a consequence many windows were bricked up. It is currently a Grade I listed building. William Strutt (1756–1830) was a cotton spinner in Belper, England. ... 1797 (MDCCXCVII) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 11-day-slower Julian calendar). ... John Marshall (1765 - 1845) was a British businessman and politician. ... Leeds is a major city in West Yorkshire, England. ... Cast iron usually refers to grey cast iron, but can mean any of a group of iron-based alloys containing more than 2% carbon (alloys with less carbon are carbon steel by definition). ... Steel frame usual refers to a building technique in which a skeleton frame of steel is constructed to support the building which is attached to the frame. ... Maltings is a building that houses the process of converting barley into malt, for use in the brewing process. ... Buckingham Palace, a Grade I listed building. ... Buckingham Palace, a Grade I listed building. ...


  1. ^ [1] English Heritage statement.
  2. ^ A. W. Skempton and H. R. Johnson, 'The First iron frames' Archiectural Review (March 1962); repr. in R. J. M. Sutherland, Structral Iron 1750-1850 (Ashgate, Aldershot 1997), 25-36.



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