Oil Mill was first built in 1721 to produce rape and linseed oil, which no doubt is the source of its name. It was adapted as a fulling mill between 1727 and 1751, and continued in cloth production until c.1840. The owners, Messrs. Pettat, Rimmington and Flight, went bankrupt in 1786, and the mill was sold to James Lewis, who built the present brick building on a stone base, which dates partly from 1791 and partly from the early 19th century. One of Lewis's sons, J.H. Lewis, d.1853, invented and taught new systems of handwriting, shorthand, arithmetic and book-keeping.
In 1833, the mill gave employment to around 200 people, including outworkers. The mill was one of the last in the Stroud area to put weaving out to self-employed weavers. Perhaps not surprisingly, by 1840 cloth production had ceased, and the mill was converted to corn.
At this time it was worked in conjunction with a number of other Stroud mills, including Stratford Mills, under the control of John Biddle. He had his own warehouse in Gloucester Docks, and brought imported grain from Gloucester for milling at Stroud. By the 1880s, the mill's water power had been supplemented by steam power, and it was also served by a short branch line which ran from the railway across a substantial iron bridge to the rear of the mill.
In 1986, Oil Mill was still used by a firm of corn and agricultural merchants. It is now the home of Snow Business International.