The Steam Laundry

Mill Road History > Steam Laundry

In September 1891 the Malling miller, Frank Stone, applied successfully to the Borough of Lewes for permission to build a flour mill and bakery on the empty site on the corner of Mill Road and the main highway, where the flats now stand. Later it included a baker’s and confectioner’s shop.

In 1899 Stone proposed a company to establish a steam laundry on a 2-acre site comprising the 1891 flour mill building and an adjoining field, together with stabling and the right to take water from a well at the Mill. By 1903 the Lewes (later East Sussex) Sanitary Steam Laundry Company had been established. Receiving offices in Malling Street collected laundry and horse-drawn vans called to collect direct from customers throughout the towns of the district.

Lewes Steam Laundry staff
The numerous laundry staff outside the premises, with Mr Frampton Carter, centre. Undated photograph 1920s. Reproduced with permission of East Sussex Record Office, copyright reserved. AMS 6871/1/3 folio 27r

The Laundry building was destroyed by fire in the early morning of 18 January 1941, after which the site stood empty for several years. At some point, which I have as yet been unable to identify precisely, it passed into the possession of Lewes Borough Council. The Council demolished the remains of the buildings and levelled the site in 1950, following a complaint about its poor condition.