Topic: Egmont Steam Flour Mill (1865-67)

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This three-storey timber building was built between 1865 and 1867 for the firm Webster and Hulke, and was originally clad in vertical board and batten characteristic of New Plymouth buildings of this period.

It is the only surviving flour mill and also the oldest industrial building in New Plymouth. The New Plymouth District Council's 1995 C.B.D. Heritage Study suggests that timber buildings of this scale and age are rare anywhere in New Zealand.

The architect was George Robinson, built to designs supplied by Messrs. Bull and Bond, England.

By 1885, the firm - now owned by Webster and McKellar - was bankrupt, and the mill was sold to Zacchaeus William Wells for £2,050. It continued to operate as a mill up until at least 1896. From 1905-28 ownership was in the hands of the produce merchants, Collet and Co. In 1907  substantial alterations were completed and the Taranaki Daily News described it at the time as, "the strongest building in Taranaki if not the colony". 

From 1928 to 1965 the building was adapted for use as the New Plymouth shop of Farmers Co-op. After this the building began to deteriorate, although part of it was used by the local branch of the National Party which owned the property.

In October 1969 a folk and blues club, "The Blue Room", opened in part of the building. It is not known how long it lasted. 

In 1986-87 the building underwent major conservation work, reopening as a bar/restaurant known as "The Mill".

After the failure of a business in early 2010 the building lay empty for several years. As at December 2014 the nightclub known as the "Crave Club" uses part of the building.

Please view links for more detailed information. The NZ Historic Places Trust magazine (September 1987) has an article about the Egmont Steam Flour Mill - available in the Taranaki Research Centre.

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