COLE & MASON was founded at Charterhouse Square, Clerkenwell EC1 in 1919 by Julian Cowan and was a family run business. The company traded initially in gifts, but over the next 20 years moved into importing wooden housewares, which stopped due to the outbreak of WWII.


Having moved to Uxbridge, we produced our first wooden mill, the Capstan. A similar design is still available to buy today.

Park Green & Co/Woodland Craft Park Green & Co supplied Cole & Mason with mechanisms. We later bought our mechanisms from France, and hand-turned all mills at the factory in Bicester, Oxfordshire.


David Cowan designed the worlds first acrylic pepper mill. The idea for the mill came when David was attending a dinner party at a friend’s house and was inspired by the round acrylic doorknobs, and so the 505 Acrylic Mill was born. It became popular with mail-order catalogues and local independent kitchen shops.

Like the first wooden mill we designed, it is still in production today.


Cole & Mason Rotating Spice Wheel - a wall mounted spice rack to space-save, inspired by a sailing helm, is put into production and becomes a must-have middle-class kitchen gadget.


Innovation for new ways of producing mills continues as the patent for a combi salt and pepper duo mill is approved May 1981.

The design allows the user to grind both salt and pepper in one mill without the need for two mills, combining space saving and convenience in one device.


Brightly coloured Brit-pop inspired design cues were hugely popular in a decade where anything goes. Now very collectable, these acrylic mills added a pop of colour to the trendy wooden nineties shaker kitchen.


Inspired by the endangered Emperor penguin this mill set is now highly collectible: the soft lines of the bird's form took inspiration from our use of traditional black pepper and white salt design.



The best-selling Derwent mill is introduced. Available in many different metallic hues, it's stemless design is an instant hit.

The Derwent is still available to buy today, along with the 1946 Capstan mill, and 1975's "505" mill.


We celebrate our 100 year anniversary with the re-release of the Knightsbridge silver mill gift set, named after an original Peter Piper mill, which was manufactured in Knightsbridge by Park Green & Co, which was acquired by Cole & Mason Ltd.


Back to housewares roots with kitchen storage, chopping boards etc 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.

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