About us

In the 17th and 18th centuries, Quern mills, so called because of the quarried quern stone used to grind the corn, were the manufacturing facility for flour in the Isle of Man. Subsequently, under the rule of Lord Stanley and Lord Athol, all private Quern mills were banned and the Manx people had to take their precious corn to the Lord’s mill to be ground.

In 1858, Richard Rowe, at the time Captain of the Laxey Mines was basking in the recent glory of overseeing the establishment of Lady Isabella – the largest water-wheel in the world – built for the purpose of keeping the lead mines free from water. He was an entrepreneur and the possibilities of success in the field of flour milling appealed to him.

Rowe requested the industrial engineer, Robert Casement, who had designed and built Lady Isabella to construct a mill in Laxey Glen adjacent to the Laxey River to enable the river to provide power to drive the mill equipment. The Mill was completed in 1860 and the first miller employed by Rowe, Thomas Corlett, set to work immediately.

In 1873, the Mill was engulfed in flames when a substantial fire broke out initially on the hillside to the south west of the building. The Mill itself was damaged mainly by water and was a major setback to Rowe’s expectations of a return on his investment.

Three years later Rowe put the business up for auction but did not secure a sale and it was 1880 before the business and the property was taken over by the incumbent miller Corlett who managed to negotiate an excellent price of £2,100 effecting a loss of around £8,000 to Rowe on his investment.

The millstones which had been installed when the mill was first built were replaced by rollers in 1888 at which time the Mill was producing a number of basic flours including “Sunrise” – a self-raising product which continues today.

Thomas Corlett Senior’s death was recorded in 1910 when the operations were taken over by his two sons Thomas Junior, who was a member of the House of Keys – the Isle of Man Parliament - and Robert. One effect of the takeover was the renaming of the company as Thomas Corlett & Sons Limited.

Fire again played a big part in the Mill’s history when, in 1921, an inferno gutted the building. The shock of the fire and its resultant effect upon the company contributed to the deaths of the two Corlett brothers and, seven years later, in 1928 another serious fire affected the third floor of the reconstructed building and water damage was extensive. The result was closure.

However, like a phoenix, 1932 saw the restart of operations at the Mill under the management of Gilbert Corlett and the company was renamed again as R. G. Corlett Limited.