Situated on the edge of the majestic River Tay, Stanley Mills is an intriguing complex of water-powered cotton mills. The earliest mill buildings have been converted into a wonderful visitor attraction by Historic Environment Scotland.
The attraction tells the story of the unique mills and the various people that have worked within them over the years. It makes for an excellent day out for all the family, just six miles away from Perth, by the village of Stanley. Interactive displays and a hi-tech visitor experience delve deep into the stories of the mill workers and the products that they produced.
The Story Of Stanley Mills
Dating back to the late 1700s, Stanley Mills began as the brainchild of the owner of the land, John Murray, the 4th Duke of Atholl. His aim was to make good use of the water flow from the tight bend on the River Tay to process the cotton. The first of the mills to open at Stanley Mills was the Bell Mill, which opened for business back in 1787 and had 350 workers in the first decade.
The East Mill was added during the 1790s but unfortunately burned down in 1799. This combined with the onset of the Napoleonic Wars that lead to an economic downturn, and Stanley Mills closed down completely in this year. The story of the mills continues over the many years after reopening in 1823. The full history of the iconic area is a colourful and exciting tale that can be experienced in full on a visit to Stanley Mills.
Visiting Stanley Mills
Children and adults of all ages can head to the visitor centre at Stanley Mills, to learn all about the mills themselves and the workers within them. Visitors explore how engineers harnessed the water power to run the machinery that turned raw cotton into wonderful products.
The various mill buildings left today can be seen by visitors, and a full overview of all the changes that took place is told through interactive displays. The Bell Mill has been left largely unchanged and is one of the oldest surviving factories in the world.