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Borough: Newham
Three Mills Green
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Three Mills Green  
Although Three Mills Green is a new public open space, the area has a long history, with a mill known to be on the site at the time of the Domesday Survey in 1086. It is known as Three Mills Island due to being surrounded on three sides by the River Lea, and its three mills were House Mill, built in 1776 and once the largest and most powerful tidal mill in the country which was operational until damaged by bombing in 1941; Clock Mill and corn drying kilns built in 1817 whose clock tower dates from 1753; the third mill, a windmill was knocked down in 1838. Other historic buildings include the Miller's House, and Customs House. Until the 18th century the mills were used for flour, grain from Hertfordshire being processed here to supply bakeries in Bow, but this was succeeded by grinding grain for distilleries such as J & W Nicholson's gin.

The former distillery warehouses are now the new Three Mills Island film studios, and the area is now better-known for such programmes as 'Big Brother'. Three Mills Green's riverfront site was shown in 1821 with osier beds, but later usage included printing ink factories, glue works, asphalt works and other noxious industries particularly following the banning of such activities from Metropolitan London under the 1844 Act. As a result the area became known as 'Stinky Stratford'. Some of the historic buildings at Three Mills were restored by the Borough of Newham and were managed by the Passmore Edwards Museum Trust. House Mill is now managed by the River Lea Tidal Mill Trust, as part of the Lower Lea Project of the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, which runs educational and environmental projects. Three Mills Green is owned by the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority.

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