The Turnmills building was a warehouse originally on the corner of Turnmill Street and Clerkenwell Road in the London Borough of Islington. It became a bar in the 1980s, then a nightclub. The club closed in 2008 and the building was later demolished, replaced with an office building.
Turnmills in January 2008, before its demolition
The Victorian building opened in 1886 and was originally used as a warehouse and stables by the Great Northern Railway Company. The building later became a warehouse for Booth’s Dry Gin distillery before changing hands in 1985 and becoming a bar. The Clerkenwell area was well known for its gin distilleries during the Victorian era. Gordon's Gin distillery was originally sited in Goswell Road/Moreland Street, EC1, not far from Turnmills.
In a bid to try and save the building from demolition various objections were put forward to Islington Council. William Palin, secretary of Save Britain’s Heritage, said that "It may not be as architecturally stunning as the Sessions House across the road but it’s a really good-quality commercial and industrial building. It’s a good example of an old building that’s been successfully re-used in a number of ways."
Although English Heritage argued that the building possessed historic and an aesthetic value, the building was finally deemed not to be of considerable significance to be saved from the wrecking ball. The building finally closed on 24 March 2008.
In 1985 John Newman purchased the lease on the building and opened a bar/restaurant on the site. In 1990, the venue evolved into a nightclub. The first successful club night held at Turnmills was Xanadu, run and co-hosted by London club promoters Robert Pereno and Laurence Malice.
The venue was the first to obtain a 24-hour dance licence in the United Kingdom, spearheading the move to all-night clubbing in the 1990s and became the home of several club nights including Trade, the first after-hours club in Britain.
- Essence. (Autumn/winter 1992/3) Mostly DJs from the Bedlam free sound system, with the Liberator crew (Aaron, Julian and Chris) as regulars with guests including Aztek and Murph. Playing London underground pure acid and hard trance.
- The Gallery (in-house event) playing progressive house, trance and techno.
- Xanadu - co-hosted and run by Robert Pereno & Laurence Malice
- Heavenly Social
- Trade (1990–2002 weekly, actually opened 4am Sunday Mornings) — hosted and run by Laurence Malice.
- Smartie Partie (2003–March 2008), monthly resident. Was suspended indefinitely in 2008 following a legal dispute with Nestlé over use of the trademark "Smarties".
- City Loud (3rd Saturday of each month) — House music.
- Release Yourself (various parties, 2002–2007)
- Elements (2001)
- Roach (2002–2003), Tom Stephan hosted a monthly deep & tech session.
- FF (1989–1996)
- Warriors (1996–1997) Hard House Techno Club run by Buffalo.
- Melt (1997 - 1999) Techno, Nu-Nrg Club.
- Habit (2000 - 2001)
- The Well (1998): Progressive trance music.
On 24 January 2008, Danny Newman announced the building would close on 23 March 2008 as a clubbing venue, due to the expiry of the lease on the building. The building was later demolished and a new office building (despite objections) was built in its place. Publicis Sapient are now located in the new building.
- Islington Tribune – article about Turnmills: http://www.thecnj.com/islington/2009/111309/inews111309_12.html
- name="dontstayin">"OFFICIAL STATEMENT - Turnmills Farewell". Don't Stay In. 24 January 2008. Archived from the original on 27 January 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2008. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Turnmills to become an office block". Evening Standard. 28 December 2007. Archived from the original on 31 December 2007. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "World famous Turnmills venue in Clerkenwell to be demolished". Islington Gazette. 6 September 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2013.