Photographs by Claire Watts

Cocooned in wood: the House Mill through a photographer’s lens [GALLERY]

It has been some time since the streets were awash with gin, but entering the old House Mill in Bromley-by-Bow brought a snifter of what life was like in the days of Nicholson Gin (circa. 1872). Back then the mill would have kept not only East London afloat on mother’s ruin, but been busy supplying all corners of the world.

For me the smell was the first thing that struck, wood steeped in juniper and age, warmed by the spring sunshine. We had arrived on the perfect day. Light streamed through the old latch windows and illuminated the dark corners of the most interesting of interiors. The wood makes up every surface, from repurposed ships knees to beams, planks and chutes of industry. You are effectively cocooned in scented wood.

Victorian machinery peppers the space, creating lines and textures, and making up a charming homage to a once thriving industrial work horse. It was an absolute joy to photograph. Our trip was accompanied by our very own historical tour de force in the form of Beverley Charters, the most wonderful of ladies whose passion for the House Mill cannot be matched. Thank you, Beverley, for a beautiful day.

Find out more about the House Mill at the House Mill website or on its Facebook page


Can you help us?

As a not-for-profit media organisation using journalism to strengthen communities, we have not put our digital content behind a paywall or membership scheme as we think the benefits of an independent, local publication should be available to everyone living in our area.

If a fraction of the local 40,000 residents donated two pounds a month to Roman Road LDN it would be enough for our editorial team to serve the area full time and be beholden only to the community. A pound at a time, we believe we can get there.

Support Roman Road LDN from as little as £2 and enjoy the benefits of being a Patron.

Become a Patron from as little as £2 per month ⇒

Claire Watts

Claire is a photographer who lives just off Roman Road in Bethnal Green. Her work centres around environmental portraiture, architecture, interiors, and the cityscapes and urban spaces of the big city. See more of her work at:

Claire Watts has 5 posts and counting. See all posts by Claire Watts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.