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LOU WINWOOD: Artist brings Hertfordshire’s industrial history to life

 Published on: 25th March 2024   |   By: Sophia Sheera   |   Category: Uncategorized

An artist from Croxley has constructed two intricate collages paying homage to Hertfordshire’s industrial heritage.

Commissioned to make seven artworks for property developers Berkeley Homes, multimedia artist Lou Winwood found herself drawn to archiving the surviving fragments of the county’s paper mill industry.

Whilst Croxley’s own paper mill was demolished in the 1980s, the world’s oldest mechanised paper mill at Frogmore in Apsley still produces artisanal paper to this day. Lou used this paper, hand-produced using surprising ingredients such as gold leaf, seeds and reindeer dung, to form the base layer of each collage.

Overlaid on top of the paper are some of the logos representing the iconic brands once produced at Croxley Mill, including the Black n’ Red brand of stationery. The collages also pay tribute to John Dickinson, the man who built Croxley Mill and Dickinson Square, which once housed his workers.

Lou visited Frogmore to watch today’s paper-makers at work. Some of the scenes she witnessed are woven into her artwork, such as the painting of a seated man using an original machine to roll his paper.

She explained: “Croxley paper was a really famous brand of paper in the past. It had a very distinctive watermark laid across each sheet.”

In fact, Croxley Heritage paper is still produced today – although not at Croxley. Whilst Croxley Mill closed more than 40 years ago, its famous paper is still available internationally.

Meanwhile, on the site of Croxley’s former paper mill is a family-run card company that still makes use of Dickinson’s historic printing facilities.

Lou’s artworks are on display at Apartment 508, The Eight Gardens development on Penn Road, Watford, by appointment only. For further information, visit

Photo Caption: Paper Valley 1 and 2 by Lou Winwood,

Photo Credit: Photographed by Hayley Bray for Berkeley Homes

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