Book reviews — December 2016
'A Short History of Three Mills', by Brian Strong
Published by River Lea Tidal Mill Trust 2016. 32 pages. ISBN 978-0-09931522-1-4 £5 + p&p. The book can be obtained from the Mill or by post from the River Lea Tidal Mill Trust, The Miller's House, Three Mills Lane, Bromley-by-Bow, London E3 3DU. It may also be on the GLIAS bookstall at events
The tide mills at Bromley-by-Bow form one of the most significant and attractive IA sites in the London area. Their history is complex; starting around the Norman Conquest and continuing to the present. Brian Strong, the recently retired GLIAS secretary and a former Trustee of the Mills Trust, has in this small booklet, written a concise but comprehensive history.
Each period from the Medieval when there were six corn mills on the Bow Back Rivers is covered in detail. In 1732 the first distillery was opened to exploit the massive demand for gin in London. Brian has lectured to GLIAS on the gin craze in 18th-century London and the growth of distilling so this chapter is expertly written with interesting graphs and illustrations. By the 19th century Three Mills were a major industrial complex that has been detailed by Brian in the GLIAS Journal. Following damage in the Second World War House Mill became derelict while Clock Mill was converted to offices in 1972 and the distillery buildings are now film studios.
Although sources are given in the book's short bibliography there is much new research, which I feel could be more fully referenced to Brian's credit. The booklet is very attractively designed and printed in colour and Brian gives due credit for this to Ben Weiner, also a GLIAS board member. David Perrett
© GLIAS, 2016