Stowford Paper Mill with its iconic features has been part of the Ivybridge skyline for generations and is one of Devon’s oldest industrial sites. Records show that a corn mill existed on the site as far back as 1550. The first paper mill was established in 1787 by a Plymouth businessman, William Dunsterville, having purchased the Stowford Estate earlier.
Dunsterville did not stay long because in 1796 Henry Rivers, an innkeeper by trade, purchased the whole of the Stowford Estate only to lease it to Francis Fincher the following year. Under his management the mill appeared to prosper with the manufacturing of paper entirely by hand. In 1837 the first paper making machine was installed which transformed paper production.