About The Old Mill

Located on the banks of the Wiltshire Avon between Salisbury and Pewsey, the Old Mill was once a working paper mill. There’s now a family home here, as well as holiday accommodation and a photo studio, where we’ll be running courses from 2022 onwards.


18th Century Paper Mill

Located towards the Eastern edge of Salisbury Plain, the Old Mill is set on the site of an 18th century paper mill. The original mill was built around 1770 and used an old technique to produce paper from rag, hammering it into pulp using power from the Hampshire Avon flowing beneath it. As technology changed towards the end of the 19th century, the mill became redundant and was dismantled around 1880. The buildings and land were then purchased by the Ministry of Defence as they bought up much of Salisbury Plain prior to the First World War.

Pre WW1 military training
Around the start of the 20th century, Bulford Camp was established as a military training centre on Salisbury Plain and became home to increasingly large numbers of troops. As part of the MOD estate, the army took advantage of the mill’s riverside location to train cavalry. A weir was installed to control the level of the pond, allowing mounted troops and horses to familiarise themselves with crossing rivers before the outbreak of WW1.

General Haking
After WW1, the remains of the mill and the land it sat on were purchased by General Haking, one of Haig’s generals during the war. General Haking constructed much of the house as it is today, landscaping the riverside garden in the process.

Frank Sawyer
The renowned riverkeeper, fishing author and inventor of fishing flies Frank Sawyer was born in one of the neighbouring mill cottages and spent many of his formative childhood years beside the Avon here. Many of his childhood anecdotes in his writing are based around his time growing up in Bulford.

The Studio
The studio (originally built as a music room) is a separate building which doubles up as a classroom for the photography courses. It’s located right next to the mill pond – it’s not uncommon to see one of the resident kingfishers flying past the window!