was a generous benefactor to Ivybridge during the years he lived in the village. He invested and rebuilt the paper mill after purchasing the site in 1849. He added two new paper machines, had a new rag loft built (inscribed Stowford Paper Mills A.D. 1862) and purchased new rag boilers, breakers and beaters. Without his investment, it is doubtful whether the mill would have survived. This was truly the golden age of prosperity for the mill, the people employed there and Ivybridge generally.
Receipt of raw materials and despatch of paper was conducted by rail after the introduction of Brunel’s South Devon Railway in 1848. As it was difficult to reach the station, Allen arranged for a new bridge to be built to avoid using the Ivy Bridge. This bridge, close to the entrance of Longtimber Woods, bears the inscription ‘J.A. 1859’.
John Allen also completely rebuilt Stowford Lodge, his own residence and also acquired a water-powered mill, known as Lower Mill, to process rags for the main paper mill.
John Allen supported all the Ivybridge churches and was the benefactor when the Methodist Church was built in 1874, at a cost of £6,000. He was a local councillor and a JP as well as other community posts.
Mr Allen was a director of Delabole Slate Quarry in Cornwall.
1801 – 1877
Born in Cornwall
Owner of Stowford Paper Mill from 1849 until 1877