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Pilmuir Street, and Returns to Foundry Street and Cousins Lane, Pilmuir Works, Including Gatepiers and Boundary Wall to West

A Category A Listed Building in Dunfermline, Fife

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Latitude: 56.0743 / 56°4'27"N

Longitude: -3.462 / 3°27'43"W

OS Eastings: 309091

OS Northings: 687789

OS Grid: NT090877

Mapcode National: GBR 1Y.P862

Mapcode Global: WH5QR.SLM8

Entry Name: Pilmuir Street, and Returns to Foundry Street and Cousins Lane, Pilmuir Works, Including Gatepiers and Boundary Wall to West

Listing Date: 20 December 1993

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 362552

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB26073

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Dunfermline

County: Fife

Town: Dunfermline

Electoral Ward: Dunfermline North

Traditional County: Fife

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T Hyslop Ure, 1883-1901; incorporating earlier buildings of 1816 and 1847 to NW at corner of Foundry Street/Cousins Lane. Extensive linen damask factory and warehouse complex; 28-bay 3-storey Italianate warehouse and office block to Pilmuir Street; weaving sheds to W; polychromatic octagonal-plan brick industrial chimney to Cousins Lane. Coursed sandstone, partially stugged; ashlar dressings.

WAREHOUSE AND OFFICES, PILMUIR STREET: 1888-1901. Base course; band course above ground floor; eaves cornice; architraved openings; segmental-headed with keystones to ground floor; segmental-headed with bracketed cills to 1st floor. Regularly fenestrated near symmetrical arrangement to Pilmuir Street. 28-bay 3-storey section (grouped 6-7-2-7-6) to left; including slightly taller slightly projecting 6-bay pavilion blocks to either side and similar 2-bay section to centre. Moulded cornice at base of 2nd floor; 2nd floor cill band. Cornices to 2nd floor windows to outer left pavilion block; pediments to 2nd floor windows to outer right pavilion block. V-jointed quoins at arrises. Modillion cornice to outer right pavilion block; parapet with ball-finialled posts above; surmounted at centre by semicircular pediment, inscribed 'Estd 1849'. Obelisk-finialled pedimented parapet with flanking ball-finalled posts to 2-bay section to centre. 2-bay carriage entrances adjacent to outer flanking pavilion blocks to inner side. Entrance with panelled timber door and segmental-headed fanlight to 4th bay to left of outer right pavilion block. 2-storey 18-bay despatch department section (grouped 2-1-5-2-5-1-2) adjoins to right. Slightly projecting block-pedimented double bay to centre (pediment dated 1888); similar single-bay block-pedimented sections to 3rd bay from end to either side; both with former entrances with block pediments to ground floor. Altered projecting 2-bay section to right; 4-bay adjoining section rebuilt at angle to outer right; both with large inserted late 20th century entrances. 2-bay return to Foundry Street to outer right. 6-bay return to S to outer left pavilion block. INTERIOR: lavish oak panelled and stained glass screened suite of managerial and commercial offices at 1st floor, to either side of corridor. Tiled washrooms with majolica dados. Main design/show room to S (canteen 1994) with plaster cornices to ceiling divided into panels by steel beams on cast-iron columns. Complex double scissor-braced timber roof trusses. First floor removed from despatch area to N. 2-pane timber sash and case windows and 5-pane timber frames with top hoppers. Piended grey slate roofs. Corniced ridge stacks to 3-storey section; truncated wallhead stack to N.

S ELEVATION: 2-storey 13-bay curved storage block adjoins 6-bay pavilion block of warehouse/office section to outer right (see 'Warehouse and Offices, Pilmuir Street'). 1st floor cill course; eaves cornice. Segmental-headed windows to 1st floor. Near regular fenestration to 11-bay section to right; 3 oculi (at 4-bay intervals between bays) to ground floor. Entrance (altered/inserted) to 6th bay from right; entrance to outer left. INTERIOR: ground floor opens to doubling and weaving shed. First floor store carried over it on cast-iron columns. 5-pane timber framed windows with top hoppers. Piended grey slate roof. Some original/early cast-iron rainwater goods.

WEAVING SHED, ENGINE and BOILER HOUSES: W (COUSINS LANE) ELEVATION: weaving shed to outer right; 3 N-lit weaving bays; entrance dated '1893'. GATEPIERS AND BOUNDARY WALL: set forward from weaving shed; coursed coped sandstone. Pair of coped square-plan gatepiers to left; each with frieze, cornice and rounded pyramid coping; wrought-iron arch above. BOILER HOUSE: adjoins to left. S wall rebuilt in brick. ENGINE HOUSE: to left. Pair of blocked tall architraved round-arched windows with keystones and bracketed cills. Lean-to economiser house adjoins to right. Adjoining chimney to left dated '1890'; polychromatic red and yellow brick; octagonal stack (top oversailer removed) on panelled and corniced square-plan base with ball finials at angles. Taller (slightly earlier) beam engine house set back to left behind brick wall; pair of tall round-arched windows with keystones. Roof lowered within walls to house electric substation. Later brick section to left obscures remains of engine and boiler house of 1847 (1994 laboratory encompassing early warp drying kiln). FOUNDRY STREET ELEVATION: irregular fenestration (Some openings blocked/altered). Original (1847) weaving shed to right incorporated into slightly later structure to left. 1888 extension (despatch department) adjoins to outer left (see 'Warehouse and Offices Pilmuir Street'). 3-storey original block adjoins to outer right (see 'Original Hand Loom Factory and Warp Loft, Corner Foundry Street and Cousins Lane'). 1st floor shallow-arched 'Bridge of Sighs'links to St Margaret's Works (opposite on Foundry Street); added 1926; reinforced concrete; corbelled, pilastered and corniced. INTERIOR: weaving shed built in 5 stages from N to S: 3-bay section 1847; lengthened 1888. Wall removed. 2 narrower spans followed by 5 broader spans. Main drive shaft carried on line of paired columns. 2 further bays fill angle formed by S wing circa 1900. All timber strut roof trusses supported on cast-iron columns. Broad-span timber and wrought-iron roofs in boiler and newer engine house. Latter Springs from corbels and cast-iron shoes, parts of 3 large castings which, bolted together, probably held in place engine flywheel for rope drives. S faces of weaving shed roof slated; N faces partially glazed. Piended roofs to main intact engine house (adjoining chimney) and bolier house; ventilators to engine house.

ORIGINAL HAND LOOM FACTORY and WARP LOFT; CORNER FOUNDRY STREET AND COUSINS LANE: 3-storey and attic; L-plan block. 5 regularly-fenestrated bays to Cousins Lane; 2 to Foundry Street (irregular/altered fenestration to ground floor). Windows (possibly altered) blocked to ground floor (early 19th century section); band course above surmounted by more finely coursed stonework (upper part probably rebuilt mid-19th century). 2 tiers of skylights to roof. INTERIOR: 4 cast-iron columns and fireplace to 1st floor; kiln over original boiler house; 3m x 4.1m; lined by iron bars (from which the starched warps were dried). Open warp loft to 2nd floor. Mainly 8-pane fixed timber frame windows; 2-pane to N. Piended grey slate roof.

Statement of Interest

An extensive intact weaving factory largely dating from the late 19th century. It has an impressive Italianate street frontage (and some fine interior detailing) to its office/warehouse block on Pilmuir Street. It is thought that Mr Scott started the first steam power weaving factory in Dunfermline on this site in 1847, purchasing (and extending) an existing building of 1816. The business failed and was restarted 2 years later by Andrew and Henry Reid. Henry Reid left in 1860 to set up Abbey Gardens Works, by which time there were 200 looms at Pilmuir Works, making it second in size only to St Leonard's Works in Bothwell Street. By 1913 it had 700 looms. It was purchased by the firm of Hay and Robertson in 1926 to compensate for a fire at its Caldeonia Works factory. It was acquired by Dunlops in 1947 to weave tyre fabric and is currently (1999) the only working weaving shed in Dunfermline and the oldest in Scotland. The kiln in the handloom factory is the only example yet recorded, as it was superseded by heated drying rollers on sizing machines. Other more primitive factories in Fife and Angus used louvres to dry warps.

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