Portals Paper Mills, 1718-1995: Papermakers to the Bank of England
Portals paper mills have had a profound economic and social effect on Overton parish. In the south of England, it is most unusual to find a single dominant industrial employer over such a long period.
Henry Portal, a Huguenot refugee from France, was awarded the contract to make hard-wearing banknote paper for the Bank of England in 1724. The company grew steadily, eventually outgrowing the limited space at Laverstoke Mill, 1km beyond the boundary of Overton parish, and a new factory was built at Overton Station in 1924. Portals became the largest security paper company in the world, employing about 1,550 people in the 1960s.