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The Rank Hovis Premier Mill, Silvertown

By 12/01/2023News

The Rank Hovis Premier Mill is an important survivor of the now almost vanished industrial history of the London Docklands. Described by the Evening Standard as a ‘decaying industrial anachronism standing defiant and alone in the surrounding subtopia’ the complex has become an icon of post-industrial Britain, and has a long and varied past. It was partially destroyed in 1917 by the devastating explosion at the nearby Brunner Mond’s munitions factory, which was manufacturing TNT for WW1. More recently, the mill has appeared in music videos by the Arctic Monkeys and Coldplay.


These images show the Royal Victoria Dock in 1937 alongside a Google Earth image of the same (yet dramatically different!) view today, with the remains of the Rank Hovis Premier Mill marked in red. The mill was established by Joseph Rank in 1904 and remained operational until its closure in the mid 1980s.

Do you have stories about the Rank Hovis Premier Mill? Maybe you worked there or lived nearby, or know someone who did? Please spread the word and get in touch if you can tell us anything about this iconic building.

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