The Phoenix Works was previously known as Thrupp Mill and earlier still as Huckvale's Court. It may have been in existence by 1381, when a tucker called John Hokkevale was living in the area. In 1635, it comprised a house, two fulling mills, a gig mill and a grist mill.
By 1770, the mill had passed to Joseph Wathen of New House, who was described at his death as one of the most considerable clothiers in the county.
In 1828, the mill was leased to John Ferrabee, an iron founder, who was allowed to make extensive alterations. These included demolishing the dwelling house, removing two of the waterwheels and their stocks, and building a foundry. It became the Phoenix Ironworks from 1851. It was here that Ferrabee and his sons carried on the production of cloth-making machines, water-wheels, agricultural machinery and steam engines.
The works also made the first lawn-mowers. These machines were invented by a local mechanic called Edwin Budding, whilst the patenting and development was financed by Ferrabee. An adjustable spanner invented by Budding was also produced.
After Ferrabee moved to Port Mill, Brimscombe in 1863, the mill was bought in 1872, by a firm of mechanical engineers later known as George Waller & Son. They initially used it to make castings for their main factory in London but then relocated here altogether in 1887. By 1971, the firm was making compressed air pumps for gas and sewage works.
In the 1970s, after the sale of the firm to Bryan Donkin of Chesterfield, the site was developed as an industrial estate and Hawker Siddeley built a new factory to manufacture Lister generating sets. It is now the home of several businesses.
From January 2016, this website is managed by Stroud Local History Society