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South Street, Former Linen Works, Office Building with Italianate Tower

A Category C Listed Building in Forfar, Angus

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.6445 / 56°38'40"N

Longitude: -2.8781 / 2°52'41"W

OS Eastings: 346248

OS Northings: 750643

OS Grid: NO462506

Mapcode National: GBR VM.RFGJ

Mapcode Global: WH7QL.R8P2

Entry Name: South Street, Former Linen Works, Office Building with Italianate Tower

Listing Date: 17 December 2010

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 400549

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51659

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Forfar

County: Angus

Town: Forfar

Electoral Ward: Forfar and District

Traditional County: Angus

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Description

Mill complex featuring former office building, probably Robertson and Orchar, circa 1860-64 or 1874. Several additions to complex including 1932-3. Former mill works with prominent, integral, 2-storey, 3 x 5-bay piended roof former office building with advanced 3-stage Italianate tower to S (street elevation). Various other surrounding former mill buildings, including 8 saw-tooth weaving sheds to N.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: FORMER OFFICE BUILDING: squared and snecked rubble with raised, ashlar margins; smooth render to top stage of tower. Band course, eaves band, moulded cornice, blocking course. Round-arched window openings to upper storey. Ground floor to E, W and N adjoins other mill buildings, including former weaving shed.

Street elevation to S with piended roof tower to right with 2-leaf, timber panelled entrance door. Top stage with bi-partite, key-stoned, round-arched windows with stone mullions. Deep, dentilled eaves.

Some windows to upper storey with 10-pane glazing pattern with timber astragals. Other windows with small-pane glazing pattern. Some window openings boarded or glass broken. Wallhead stacks. Grey slates.

Statement of Interest

The former 2-storey office building which is a defining feature of this former mill complex has a fine Italianate tower and high quality detailing. Similar towers were built in a few other mills in the area, but most of these have since been demolished which makes the survival of this one more remarkable. The tower and former office building in themselves add significantly to the streetscape of this part of Forfar. The other mill buildings which surround and are connected to the former office building have mostly undergone alteration.

The factory was originally built for the John Lowson as a jute weaving factory. Lowson died in 1887, his estate was split up and the jute manufacturers Don Brothers, Buist & Company leased the buildings and bought the premises in 1906. Don Brothers, Buist & Company had its origins in Forfar in 1792 and gradually expanded its business, moving into plastics in the 20th century. In 1915, the factory was closed and it re-opened in 1929 as the Strang Street Mill. Several additions were built in 1932-3, mainly at the East elevation, masking what was a 13-bay elevation. Jute spinning stopped in 1991. There has been some alteration to the site over the years as it has been adapted to different manufacturing techniques.

Robertson & Orchar (from 1861) were a Dundee-based firm which specialised in mill-engineering and textile machinery. They were responsible for a number of mills in and around Dundee and are likely to have been involved in the design of this one.

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