History & Heritage

The origins of our brand date back to 1919 when Cole & Mason was founded as a giftware business in the City of London. The company soon expanded into general home goods and in 1946 we launched our first wooden mill.
A passion for flavour was ignited: inspiring us to develop made-to-last products to bring out the best in everyday food using the latest technologies and materials. This quest for quality and innovation are at the heart of the
Cole & Mason story to this day.

Piccadilly Circus. London. 1919 | Alice Delycia was starring… | Flickr


Julian Cowan establishes his family business Cole & Mason in the City of London. Initially founded as a giftware company, Cole & Mason quickly and successfully expanded into general hardware and housewares.


Making Julian’s ambition of producing his own seasoning mills a reality, Cole & Mason launches its first mill, the Capstan, a wooden mill artfully turned by hand. The Capstan mill is an instant hit and is still in production to this day, with only a few small modifications made to the original design.


Cole & Mason launches the world’s first acrylic “505” mill. The idea for the 505 comes from David Cowan, son of founder Julian Cowan. When David attended a dinner party at a friend’s house, he admired the novel round acrylic doorknobs and was convinced they would look great on a mill. Like the Capstan, the "505" has proven to be a popular and timeless classic and is still part of our core range of mills on sale today.


Always looking to the future and exploring new ideas, Cole & Mason receives approval for its patent for a combined salt and pepper mill. The innovative design of this mill, aptly named the “Duo” mill, combines a salt and pepper mill in one vessel, providing a great way to save space.

The Queen's Award for Export Achievement | Brands of the World™ | Download  vector logos and logotypes


Achieving great success on both a national
and international level, Cole & Mason is presented with the Queen’s Award
for Export Achievement after having become the UK number one brand for salt and pepper mills in the early eighties.


Launch of our iconic and beloved Derwent mill with a modern design featuring a clear body. This will be the inspiration for the Stadhampton Chilli and Spice mill, launched 12 years later in 2022.

Cole & Mason table_accessories : Buy Cole & Mason Derwent Salt Mill 190mm  Online | Nykaa Fashion


Cole & Mason celebrates its 100-year anniversary and releases a special limited edition of the Knightsbridge Centenary Silver Salt & Pepper gift set, a fitting celebration of our rich heritage.  2019 also sees the launch of a range of mills with a new superior carbon steel grinding mechanism called Precision+”, developed in conjunction with the University of Nottingham’s flavour laboratory. The new
mechanism releases more pepper per turn and more flavour compared to our
previous award-winning mechanism.



We get back to our housewares roots with kitchen storage and chopping boards  ensuring to take inspiration from the past, making use of natural materials like acacia wood and bamboo.


We continue to offer a lifetime guarantee on the mechanisms of our mills, underlining our terrific quality and attention to detail, and embark on a mission to make our manufacturing process more sustainable. Our innovations in mill grinding technology and mechanical mills promises to improve ease of use for chefs and diners alike.

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