EPW009813 ENGLAND (1924). The Artificial Silk Works beside Frederick Milner House, Ashstead, 1924. This image has been produced from a damaged negative.

© Hawlfraint cyfranwyr OpenStreetMap a thrwyddedwyd gan yr OpenStreetMap Foundation. 2021. Trwyddedir y gartograffeg fel CC BY-SA.

Delweddau cyfagos (12)

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Pennawd [EPW009813] The Artificial Silk Works beside Frederick Milner House, Ashstead, 1924. This image has been produced from a damaged negative.
Cyfeirnod EPW009813
Dyddiad March-1924
Dwyreiniad / Gogleddiad 518322, 156665
Hydred / Lledred -0.30272289832645, 51.29629504467
Cyfeirnod Grid Cenedlaethol TQ183567


Leatherhead Road A24

Monday 8th of July 2013 01:51:42 PM

Monday 8th of July 2013 01:26:28 PM
Long House, became Milner House when purchased by the Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society in 1926. Detailed image on EPW032795 and history at http://www.careuk.com/media/news-releases/history-milner-house.

Tony D
Monday 8th of July 2013 01:02:01 PM

Tuesday 2nd of July 2013 01:30:56 PM

Cyfraniadau Grŵp

Was it a production plant or a yarn processing plant? and what was the 'Artificial Silk'? Acetate or Viscose? What was the company?

Anyone help?

Dave Trigg.


Monday 10th of March 2014 08:19:27 PM
The Rayon Manufacturing Company was formed early in 1926 for manufacturing artificial silk in an existing factory in Ermyn Way, Ashtead. After the firm closed in 1938 the works was occupied by Goblin for manufacturing vacuum cleaners and other appliances.

Monday 10th of March 2014 08:19:27 PM
I have just realised I should have know this when it first came round and probably would have done so if it was a couple years later as in EPW032791, where Stay Leys is set out and the bungalows have been built along the A24 in the background.

Why should I have know this? .... I grow up just out of the top of the picture and used to walk or ride my bike pass this works on the way to country rambles.

My only plea is that I never saw it from this angle!

Monday 6th of January 2014 05:57:21 PM
The Goblin Vacuum Cleaner Co occupied this site until the early 1980's when it was sold to Esso and their new head office was built there.

Monday 14th of October 2013 02:20:06 PM
probably esso/mobil house, research facilities for the petroleum company

Thursday 15th of August 2013 12:08:42 AM
At this time it was the Artificial Silk Works. I believe Goblin owned the site from the 50s to the 80s, and Esso redeveloped it some time after that.

Tony D
Thursday 15th of August 2013 12:08:42 AM
leatherhead, surrey

Tuesday 30th of July 2013 08:36:10 AM
How deeply frustrating. I now recognise this site, and know that I have catalogued other images in the Collection that show it - but for the life of me I can't put my finger on the location!

I have in mind something to do with laundry or synthetic textiles, a placename that might begin with H, and a memory that the OS mapping for the location isn't great (but don't hold me to these vague notions, they just seem to ring a bell).

It will annoy me all weekend, if not longer...

Yours, Katy

Katy Whitaker
Monday 8th of July 2013 03:37:12 PM
I also had another think about this one. How massively it is built with no expense spared on the boundary wall which peters out. I still can't think of a purpose for the building but I tend towards it having a military use. The smallish building looks to be a boiler house but there is no evidence of an above ground steam or heat distribution system. I thought of lots of possibilities for the use of the building but none was really likely so I am back to square one on use. As to location I favour the home counties such as Hertfordshire, Surrey or perhaps Hampshire around Aldershot. I am completely on a limb on this. If we can get even the smallest of extra clues it would be helpful.

Monday 8th of July 2013 09:12:32 AM
Found it! I looked at identified pictures in Mole Valley, and it's the Artificial Silk Works, Ashtead. See EPW032788.

Tony D
Monday 8th of July 2013 11:34:20 AM
Thank you for proving to me that I wasn't going mad...

I knew I'd seen the site - there may be thousands of them, but I don't forget the photographs that I've looked at. Remembering the placenames is another matter entirely though.

What a relief.


Katy Whitaker
Monday 8th of July 2013 03:37:12 PM
Well done Tony D for getting this one. Katy had given us a clue mentioning synthetic textiles but I was never going to locate this. A good result!

Monday 8th of July 2013 01:23:49 PM
The rather grand and possibly historic house in the background would seem to make a rather strange neighbour to this collection collection of brick boxes.

Friday 5th of July 2013 10:39:16 AM
I have looked at this collection a number of times. I agree about power plant or pumping house.

The idea of a water works has been entertained and rejected due to the lack of filterbeds. Even when water is extracted from chalk artesian wells it is normally filtered.

Tiny Tim's suggestion of a refrigerated warehouse has some attractions. I wonder if it was an early government reserve warehouse? When did these start to be built? Most of them seem to have an air of secrecy about them. One set I know used to be hidden in the forest just north of Okehampton in Devon. It would seem unlikely that the government would have used refrigerated storage for long-term emergency supplies as early as 1924. The lack of railway does suggest infrequent move of materials in and out, which would tie in with the idea of an emergency store.

Friday 5th of July 2013 10:35:50 AM
The problem with relying on numbers to locate a site is that these were all taken on individual glass negatives. Between being exposed, taken from the aeroplane and developed there was ample opportunity for them to get out of order. Negatives made on continuous film remain in sequence, these, it seems, may not.

Tiny Tim
Monday 24th of June 2013 06:00:01 PM
The numerically previous photo to this has been identified as Hurst Park. The next in the sequence to be identified is Welwyn. Logically this site should be somewhere between.

The buildings don't have many windows, yet have ventilation towers, lifts and a substantial power plant. I think they are refrigerated warehouses, although what they contain is hard to guess.

It seems unusual to me that a facility this large isn't rail served, so I would guess that it's not far from a railway.

In this photo, next to the power house, is a freestanding piece of machinery that looks like a condenser. In the next view (EPW009813A) on the opposite side of the power house is a pit or pond, with railings around it and what look like steps going down into it. I've no idea what that's about.

Tiny Tim
Monday 24th of June 2013 03:38:02 AM
I cannot imagine a use for these buildings. I have been looking in Little Bookham, Surrey and I have forgotten why.

Monday 20th of May 2013 11:31:03 PM