Scotlands History

Stanley Mills

By the late 1700s, linen was replaced by cotton cloth, which was softer and finer, and cheaper to produce. Water-driven mills were built at Catrine, Blantyre, New Lanark, Dean, Balfron, and Stanley (near Perth) to replace home spinning and weaving on hand looms.

Handweaving at home became quickly redundant. By the 1820s, it was the male cotton spinners (who had the strength to handle the heavy machinery) who were earning good wages by forming unions.

Stanley Mills was Perth’s ‘New Lanark’ on the Tay. It was a purpose-built mill, with accommodation, school, shops and other facilities for the millworkers. In the 19th century, the dormitory village employed up to 1200 people.

  • A photograph of the mills in New Lanark.

Click on the image to view a larger version.