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Bell Mill, or West Mill, Stanley Mills Including Iron Gangway, Belt Proofing Machine and West Sluice Chamber

A Category A Listed Building in Strathtay, Perth and Kinross

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.4792 / 56°28'45"N

Longitude: -3.441 / 3°26'27"W

OS Eastings: 311345

OS Northings: 732833

OS Grid: NO113328

Mapcode National: GBR V6.LNKC

Mapcode Global: WH6PZ.3DQS

Entry Name: Bell Mill, or West Mill, Stanley Mills Including Iron Gangway, Belt Proofing Machine and West Sluice Chamber

Listing Date: 5 October 1971

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 335756

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB4486

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Auchtergaven

County: Perth and Kinross

Electoral Ward: Strathtay

Parish: Auchtergaven

Traditional County: Perthshire

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Description

To designs of Sir Richard Arkwright, perhaps with James Stobie, surveyor to the Duke of Atholl; millwright-work by Lowe of Nottingham, 1786-7. 5-storey and basement 3-by 12-bay cotton-spinning mill. Brick-built with stone cills and segmental arched windows; ground-floor and basement

rubble-built with square-headed windows and ashlar string courses.

W ELEVATION: 12-bay, slightly off-centre 3 bays advanced and gabled with flat apex. Right-most bay a latrine tower with small window added at 2nd. Left-most bay widely spaced.

E ELEVATION: 12-bay bay to right more widely spaced. Gangway to Mid Mill added circa 1830; iron plates on a cast-iron framework of T-section beams and joists and cast-iron columns, weather-boarding and vertically

glazed windows front basement.

N GABLE: 5-storey, 3-bay, centre bay blind except door at ground and window at 4th floor. Oculus at 5th. Projecting skewputts. Hexagonal bellcote with steep lead roof on later steel supports. Ship weathervane.

S GABLE: projecting bowed stairtower at right with curved windows, top roof tank, early 19th century, recently replaced with brick parapet. Single-lights to left. Oculus. Lean-to extension to ground floor with rubble-built segmental-arched windows and lean-to roof over belt

dressing machine.

W WING: single-storey brick built addition built in 2 stages: circa 1900 with timber roof, circa 1920 with steel roof. Neither is of special interest except that the latter lies on the foundations, lade, wheel-pit and tail-race of the 18th century corn mill.

Slate roof, originally with single skylights, long slated over. Windows sash and case 16-pane glazing pattern.

INTERIOR: Upper 3 floors are as in 18th century. Timber floors and transverse beams (bracing joists near gables) on single off-centre row of cruciform columns of 24/27mm section: 2240 mm high, top 750mm expanded from 108 to 260mm with a 95mm slot to receive transmission brackets.

2060mm centres, aligned lengthwise on lower floors, crosswise at top floor, with 2 timber posts. Collar-beam roof, originally floored. Ground and 1st floors combined in 19th century, cylindrical columns with low bearing pads. Basement columns 19th century to S (of East Mill).

N part likely to bear evidence for power take-off from external waterwheel. Timber spiral stair with generous landings and later accesses to Mid Mill. T-section cast-iron beam (early 19th century?) formerly carried water tank. At foot of stairs is the belt dressing machine for "Stanley Solid Woven Cotton Belting", a circa 1990

improvised timber and iron machine over an iron bitumen tank.

SLUICE CHAMBER: W of mill. Ashlar with wrought iron railings.

Statement of Interest

Notes of international importance as perhaps the finest and best- preserve cotton mill with which Sir Richard Arkwright was concerned. Only Masson Mill, Derbyshire extended to either side and heightened by a

storey, and the smaller Harlem Mill at Wirkswort is comparable. Neither has iron columns. The early use of cast-iron columns (perhaps primarily to carry the driving system rather than structural) make the building

particularly important. Much has yet to be learned from the structure, and there is some disagreement as to the precise age of the columns.

The Wheelhouse lay at right-angles to E of mill, separated by the iron gangway, and is now a garden rockery. The tail-race ran under the W end of Mid Mill. Archaeological potential.

The railed sluice chamber to W if Bell Mill served the 1729 Corn Mill and drained excess water. The machine at the foot of the stairs probably relates to The Sandeman Stanley Cotton Belting Co, whose products drove machinery world-wide.

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