A stone’s throw from Stonehenge and Old Sarum, Fisherton Mill is a beautiful example of a more recent period in Salisbury’s history.
Built for W. Main & Sons Ltd in 1880, this impressive Victorian mill kept the family’s shop stocked up with animal feed, seeds and fertilisers, as well as processing grain.
Workhorses were used to transport the goods into the market square (now the Portman building society) – the stables were situated where our workshops are today.
During WW1, the Mill was used as warehouse space for the Australian army, but after the war, it was business as usual, only with lorries instead of horses and electricity providing light and power to the machinery.
From 1920-50, the business flourished, with manual labour still central to the process. Up to 25 people were employed, all fit and healthy enough to move the bulky 250lb sacks of grain.
With the 1960s came the onset of mechanisation and the end of intensive manual labour. Following the introduction of purpose-built mills and storage silos, Fisherton Mill couldn’t compete. In 1984, after much soul searching, the business was closed.
The historic building has since been a carpet warehouse and an illegal rave venue, but in 1994 Michael Main, the grandson of the original owner, rescued it and opened The Gallery.
The Cafe was established the following year by Michael and Deborah Fox and, since then, studio spaces have sprung up to give talented artists and designers the space to create and add another dimension to this ever-evolving history.