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Upper Dens Mills, Princes Street, Dundee

A Category A Listed Building in Dundee, Dundee

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Latitude: 56.466 / 56°27'57"N

Longitude: -2.9627 / 2°57'45"W

OS Eastings: 340777

OS Northings: 730847

OS Grid: NO407308

Mapcode National: GBR ZBS.VD

Mapcode Global: WH7RB.GQDY

Plus Code: 9C8VF28P+CW

Entry Name: Upper Dens Mills, Princes Street, Dundee

Listing Name: 2 Princes Street, Upper Dens Mill

Listing Date: 4 February 1965

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 361260

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB25101

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200361260

Location: Dundee

County: Dundee

Town: Dundee

Electoral Ward: Maryfield

Traditional County: Angus

Tagged with: Mill building

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Umpherston and Kerr 1833, 3-storey and attic 10-bay
fireproof mill with engine house at W, extended to W by a
2nd engine house, and 10 bays with basement, 3rd floor and
cast-iron attic in 1850 by Peter Carmichael with Randolph,
Elliot and Co. Rubble-built with ashlar margins. Slate
mansard roof.
S elevation 4-storey and attic 23-bay mill, with blocked
basement windows in W section. Slightly advanced twin
central engine houses rise through 3-storeys fronted by 2
pairs of tripartite engine house windows with Doric
pilasters and segmental arches. Cast-iron tie-plate at 1st
floor level, cornice at 2nd floor level, 3 windows at 3rd
floor. Main cornice.
E elevation 3-bay gable to mill, 2 windows on each floor,
central bay blank, housing wall boxes, 3 oculi above main
cornice. Mansard roof with cast-iron urns. Projecting
square-plan stair tower with door and windows to E,
roundheaded at 4th floor. Blind windows to N, blank E
elevation. Tower beyond areas level added 1850 with
roundels to 4 sides. Circular cast-iron bellcote on 6
Doric columns linked by wrought-iron railings. Conical
spire with fishscale slates and iron finial.
N elevation 24-bay with central engine houses entered
through 2 doors, E with cast-iron lintel, W with large fan
light. 4 windows above, now blocked and 3 windows at 3rd
floor. Engine house flanked by tall projecting soil chutes
rising from cast-iron brackets at 1st floor. Skewed 3-bay W
gable with blind windows. 3 oculi over main cornice,
mansard roof with cast-iron urn finials.
Windows originally 56-pane, now 12-pane, sash and case.
Interior: fireproof, with 2 rows of cast-iron columns
carrying brick arches on cast-iron beams tensioned by
wrought-iron ties. Columns now encased in plasterboard
but brick arches and ties form the ceilings of most rooms.
Original spiral stairs at ends of mill, new stair inserted
in engine house, which has a painted brick arched ceiling
on cast-iron beams with later steel supports. Tripartite
windows have fine moulded soffits. Gothic cast-iron mansard
roof, probably the first of its kind in Dundee, with small
section open to view near lift. Basement high arched
ceiling on brick piers.

Statement of Interest

The biggest of Baxter Brothers' mills, the focal point

of what was for a while the world's largest linen works

and the 1850s showpiece of Dundee's textile industry.

Umpherston and Kerr reused the formula first tried on a

large scale in the Coffin Mill. The layout suggests that

the 1850 extension had been planned in 1833 but there

are interesting variations in beam form and ceiling heights

within the mill despite a uniform exterior. The 1850

extension was designed with the help of Randolph Elliot and

Co of Glasgow, soon to become famous marine engineers, but

it is not clear what their contribution was. The most

significant feature is the cast-iron roof, imitated in the

other Baxter mills, Verdant and Camperdown Works. It may

be the first example of the kind in the city.

A statue of James Watt, now missing, originally adorned

the wallhead over the engine house.

Converted to housing 1984-6.

External Links

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