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11 May 2016

18th century Scottish watermill celebrates its heritage

Stanley Mills to take part in National Mills Weekend

Three girls at Stanley Mills

One of Scotland’s surviving water-powered mills is to mark more than two centuries’ worth of industrial milling heritage as part of the annual National Mills Weekend celebration.

This weekend – Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th May – Stanley Mills, on the River Tay in Perth will be revisiting its past. Through a series of special events and performances visitors will have the chance to discover more about this historic watermill and its important role in local life and industry throughout the centuries.

The annual weekend-long festival of National Mills Weekend is coordinated by the Mills Section of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB). This UK wide initiative celebrates the diverse milling heritage held throughout the country and encourages people to explore their local windmills and watermills.

Founded at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the 1780s, Stanley Mills processed cotton and produced textiles that were sold around the world for over two hundred years.

Now visitors to the mill will be able to experience four different periods throughout its history, as each is brought to life and re-told by the Aberfeldy Drama Club; Listen to the Walls, taking place on Saturday only, will provide visitors with a real insight into the mill’s changing history. It will chart the developments in technology and what mill life might have been like at the time for those who worked there.

Whilst storyteller Claire Hewitt will be on hand throughout Sunday afternoon to entertain younger visitors with the Stories around Stanley Mills event. Visitors can also try their hand at weaving and learn more about how waterwheels work and even have a go at building their own in themed activities which take place on both Saturday and Sunday.

Lorna Ewan, Head of Visitor Experience, Content and Learning for Historic Environment Scotland, said: “National Mills Weekend is a great opportunity for our visitors to explore and discover more about Scotland’s important industrial milling heritage through a series of special events in a new and engaging way.

Throughout the weekend visitors to Stanley Mills will see key periods in its past brought to life in a play. New for this year, the play will offer a real insight into this building’s working history, as it and its workers changed over the centuries.

These special events will be taking place at Stanley Mills over the course of National Mills Weekend. Although please note that some events at Stanley Mills will only be taking place on specific days and times. Full details below.

All events and activities are included in the cost of admission to Stanley Mills and are free for members.

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES)

  • As of the 1st October 2015, Historic Scotland and RCAHMS came together to form a new lead public body charged with caring for, protecting and promoting the historic environment. The new body Historic Environment Scotland (HES) will lead on delivering Scotland’s first strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time.
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Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016

2016 is the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design (IAD). Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland's position as an "innovation nation", its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector. This is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland and supported by a variety of partners.

Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016

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For further information

Grant Thomson
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Direct Line: 0131 668 8603
Mobile: 07580 702 611