Silk Mill public house
Silk Mill public house

The first records of the existence of the Old Silk Mill pub by name are dated 1874, but it likely dates back much further to the years when Sir Thomas Lombe’s historic Silk Mill was fully operational. It was demolished in 1924 and replaced on a slightly different site by the present half-timbered building.

A mural takes up the whole of one of the external walls. It was painted in 1986, depicting the Silk Trades’ Lock-out of 1833/4, when hundreds of newly-joined trade unionists found themselves locked out because of their membership in the Grand National Consolidated Trade Union. In November 1833 a silk manufacturer sacked a man who refused to pay a fine for poor workmanship. This resulted in eight hundred workers going on strike in support of their colleagues. Other mill workers followed, and the employers retaliated by refusing to employ any union members.

By February of the following year, this figure had risen to over 2,000, while the owners kept the mills running with unskilled non-union labour. Strike pay ran out in March, and strikers began to drift back to work. And on Monday, 21st April 1834, the final strikers asked to be re-instated, although over 600 found their services no longer required


On the corner of Full Street and Sowter Road facing Cathedral Green.