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Discover Stanley Mills

Stanley Mills
Stanley Mills is a new Historic Scotland property which opened to the public in Easter 2008. It is an 18th and 19th century cotton mill which sits in a beautiful rural setting on the banks of the River Tay, 7 miles north of Perth.

It is one of only a few industrial properties that HS has in its care. It was built to a design by Richard Arkwright in 1785 and only closed in 1989.

Learn more about Stanley Mills recent Sandford Award win which recognises educational excellence.


The site has a dedicated education room, and facilities in the visitor centre include interactive displays and interpretive models to help visitors/pupils learn more about what went on at Stanley.  Pupils can explore both inside and outside different buildings, the village nearby and the peninsula the site sits on, via a riverside walk.

Hands-on learning

For schools, a visit to the site offers a range of exciting learning opportunities which can support and deliver Curriculum for Excellence; from science and technology to expressive arts, as well as broader curricular themes such as citizenship, enterprise, sustainability and creativity.


Schools can book a general visit to the site, led by the class teacher.  These visits are free as part of Historic Scotland’s Educational Visits Scheme.  A Teacher's Pack - Investigating Stanley Mills - contains suggestions for self led tours of the site.

Remember you school can access travel subsidies as part of Historic Scotland's Educational Visits Scheme.

Activity Sessions include:

Primary Schools
  • Victorian Millworkers
  • Archaeologists at Work
  • Science Sleuths - Waterwheel Challenge
  • Science Sleuths - Power Transmission
  • Discovery Sessions (choose from Highland Clearances, Water and Electricity or World  War II)

Secondary Schools
  • Archaeologists at Work
  • Art and Design Workshops
  • Industrial Revolution

Continuing Professional Development Opportunities

Free CPD evenings are run in September and May each year - check out the activity programme for dates.  In addition, extra sessions are organised in conjunction with Perth & Kinross Council - contact the site for details.


A great package of educational activities is available to schools including:

  • Activity sessions for primary and secondary pupils
  • A Teachers Pack - Investigating Stanley Mills (available in hard copy and to download from the website) - which provides background information and two self-led tours on the themes working at the mill and water power.
  • A CD based e-learning resource with reconstructed animations bringing the mill to life and illustrating the process of cotton production
  • Victorian mill workers costumes
  • Victorian toys
  • Cotton handling collection


Community Textile Project
The Education Room at Stanley Mills now has on display the first four pieces of artwork produced as part of the Stanley Community Textile Project, the informal learning project started by on-site Learning Officer Fiona Davidson.  Find out more about the Textile project.

Stories from Stanley 2008 Project

Stories from Stanley was a joint project between the Historic Scotland Interpretation and Learning Services and the Scottish Storytelling Centre run during September and October 2008.  It involved four local schools (Stanley, Murthly, Auchtergaven and Ruthvenfield Primary Schools) visiting the Mills and working with a professional storyteller, Claire Hewitt, to create and learn how to tell their own stories inspired by the Mills.  Find out more about the stories from Stanley 2008 Project.

Contact us

Fiona Davidson
Stanley Mills Learning Officer

Tel 01738 828268 ext. 203