Sir John Evans Centenary Project - image background is marbled paper from one of John Evans's books John Evans Numismatic Society Medal 1899

Nash Mills House

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Drawing of Nash Mills House 1892 (By kind permission of the Apsley Paper Trail)
Drawing of Nash Mills House by F.G. Kitton, 1892.
(courtesy of Apsley Paper Trail)

Nash Mills House is thought to have been built about 1790 by the Griffith Jones, the owner of Nash Mills papermill at that time. John Dickinson and his family lived in the house from about 1810-11 until 1840 when the family moved into their newly built house, Abbot's Hill, not far away. Nash Mills House was then occupied by Dickinson's partner, Charles Longman.

Harriet and John Evans moved into the house 1856 on Harriet's thirty-third birthday. She was very happy living there and had happy memories of her childhood home. Steps from the house led down to the lawns, which bordered on the River Gade; there was a waterfall, a walled garden and flower beds - a garden their children explored. Unfortunately they enjoyed living there together for only two years, for in 1858 Harriet died from an infection following the birth of their fifth child.

John continued to live at Nash Mills House for another 48 years, when he moved to his newly built home at Britwell, Berkhamsted in 1906.

It was in Nash Mills house that his daughter, Joan, spent most of her childhood in rooms converted in the attics. The house is described in her book Time and Chance as 'a neat pedimented box of green-shuttered stucco abutting on to the mill'. Joan also enjoyed the garden, as her older siblings had done, calling it her 'childhood kingdom'. She remembered the fruit trees and laburnums planted by Ann Dickinson. It was still being tended and planted to produce flowers for her half-brother's funeral in 1941.

The house continued as offices for a hundred years, from 1906 until 2006, when the mill ceased making paper. The site is now awaiting redevelopment. The Apsley Paper Trail has expressed an interest in acquiring the house to form a museum on John Dickinson, John Evans and the company development. The developers, Crest Nicholson, are sympathetic to the history of the house and are working with the Apsley Paper Trail and local interests to develop a modern site with respect to its past. Waterways will be integral to the design reflecting its former use.

Nash Mill House 2005 (photograph by kind permission of Michael Stanyon)
Nash Mill House
(courtesy of M. Stanyon)

Further References / Links:

Joan Evans, Time and Chance: The Story of Arthur Evans and His Forebears (1943)

Apsley Paper Trail has details of Evans's paper manufacturing interests.