Sandford upon Thames Papermill, Oxfordshire

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Location and general description

Located at Sandford on Thames, Oxon, just downstream from Oxford and adjacent to Sandford Lock. 


Much of the Kings Arms was once part of the paper-mill and the mill race continues flow beneath the footbridge that connects the King's Arms with the adjacent lock. It is uncertain how much of any other buildings remain. The workers cottages that originally had tarred paper roofs are now listed buildings.

History (from 1684 to 1970s)

In 1684, according to Foreman, Sandford was adapted for paper milling whilst still milling corn (Foreman, 1983, 71).

In 1823 Jas SWANN bought Sandford as a corn mill advertised as capable of conversion to a paper making (Foreman, 1983, 71). In the later 18th C a SWANN leased Wolvercote Paper Mill.

In 1826 the mill was converted into a paper mill to meet the increasing demands of nearby Oxford University. At the same time nearby workers cottages were constructed with tarred paper roofs. (Wickipedia). At that time Sandford had no recent history of  paper making so workers were recruited in and six new cottages built to accommodate them. (Sandford Link, 1986).

Between 7 Nov 1848 and 9 Dec the same year a series of letters were exchanged between, Tatum, Upton, Johnson & Co, Thomas HALLAM and members of the SWANN family, concerning a sale at Sandford and Eynsham Mills as a result of  the Bankruptcy of Henry SWANN (Oxford Records Office, Local Studies Catalogue, SL138/1/C/01-12). 

In 1875 the rebilding of the Sandford Paper-Mill requiring the head water level to be raised by 5 feet. (River Thames, from Cotswolds to London)

In 1880 the Oxford University Press purchased the mill (Ritter, 2002)

Between Jun 27th and Sep 26th 1896 the following individuals were listed in Amalgamated Society of Paper Makers reports: W EATON; F G NAISH [Stirk 2011].

In 1910 the mill was purchased by Cannon and Clapperton (Oxford Records Office, Local Studies Catalogue, SL138/1/, Introduction)

In 1983 the Mill was operating under Cannon and Clapperton (Oxford Records Office, Local Studies Catalogue, SL138/1/, Introduction)

On 4th May 1984 a huge fire engulfed the papermill buildings which were in the process of being demolished, threatening to spread to the Kings Arms. (Sandford Link, June 1984, Pg 2)


The ROLLINS family

The 1841 Census lists the ROLLINS family at 'Mill Lane' ['Allen Cottages' written above may apply to this], Sandford, when they comprised


Any transcripts and images on this page are Copyright R I Kirby 2008 unless stated otherwise.