Notes about Perth mills

Perth, Scotland

· travel · history ·

Today I ended up getting an earlier train, so managed to get to the local history centre earlier than I'd thought I would — and in fact, they close at 5 and not 4 as advertised, so I would've had some time anyway.

I started with looking for any general material about woollen mills in Perth, and was quickly pointed to (the extended Culross 1986 edition of) Traditions of Perth by George Penny, first published in 1836. That's a bit earlier that I'm looking for, but it was useful (and interesting).

It turns out that George Penny's father (also called George Penny) was instrumental in the beginnings of cotton mills in Perth, after he introduced silesia linens. That was in 1766, with cotton starting in 1872. Wool came later.




Separate index for PTOP. Also to look at the Kincarrathie estate, whose southern border is Annaty Burn.


  • p18. Many mills to the west of the town, driven by the River Almond 4 miles west.
  • p248 onwards. Summary of history of weaving in Perth.
  • p249. Weaving considered "honourable and lucrative calling".
  • p250. George Penny (father of the writer) introduced "selesia linens" in 1766. After that weaving became general in Perth. Cotton weaving (rather than flax) started in Perth in 1782, due to George Penny snr.
  • p252. 1800, mill built at the foot of Mill Street, spinning cotton and later converted to wool. The company employed many people, but at some point was not making a profit and the "building being found to be in a very crazy condition, was pulled down".
  • p252. Before 1810 there were nearly 3000 weavers in Perth.
  • p260. "woollen manufacture has not been attempted in Perth" "Situation could not be better", with wool and labour and water available. "Perth only wants a few men of spirit to set the linen and woollen manufactures agoing, to ensure its propsperity."

Microfilm of Perth Courier 1810 September 13, page 1, colum 5. "Annaty Oil Mill, Scone Road":

Situate about half a mile from Bridgend; the Buildings are extensive, substantial and convenient, the Water Wheel is an overshot 16½ feed diameter; ard 4 feet wide, which, with all the other parts of the Machinery that would admit of it, are made of Iron.

The Premises have been erected about 3 years, and are upon the latest and most approved principles.

The Business will in the meantime be continued. *Lintseed Oil and Cake* Sold, and *Lintseed* Bought, as usual.

Apply to the Proprietor, who may also treat for a Sale if preferred.

Charlotte Street, Perth, 23d April, 1810.