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Portals Paper Mills, 1718-1995: Papermakers to the Bank of England

Portals Company Badge

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.

Content derived from research undertaken as part of the Victoria County History project