The Paper Trail
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The Paper Trail project is an industrial 'exploration' centre built around an historic, paper mill. It offers public access into the heart of what was a real working environment and is complemented by an active business & industrial enterprise hub. The Frogmore Mill site is unique in the fact that it is the home of the world's first ever commercial working paper machine and can be claimed to be at the very heart of the communications revolution. It was at Frogmore that the world's first machine for making a continuous roll of paper was built (the birth of paper's industrial revolution).
The primary objective of The Paper Trail is to conserve and restore Frogmore as a working paper mill using a 'Fourdrinier' paper machine which dates back to 1895 and to make this unique industrial heritage accessible to the public. Apsley Paper Trail wanted to convert two storage sheds dating back to the early 1900’s, together with the already partly upgraded skill site/printers workshop, into a visitor centre.
The framework of one shed was composed entirely of timber with a double pitch roof and a central valley. Drainage problems with the central valley had been significant and the timber structure beneath this valley shows considerable water damage. Many areas of the timber frame were either damaged by impact or from decay requiring a lot of refurbishment.
The second shed had a single pitch steel trussed roof supported on a steel framework. The steel roof structure is supported on a wooden framed wall structure. Both sheds were covered externally by corrugated iron sheeting with some parts of the roofing having asbestos cement sheeting. The objective of the conversion was to create a weatherproof space capable of all-year round use in which a variety of internal spaces can be constructed for the display of working papermaking, printing equipment and heritage objects as well as providing visitor facilities including catering and toilets.
The Paper Trail Project