The browser you are using is out of date and is no longer supported. To view and use this site correctly, please update your browser to the latest version.

We're changing

We have created a new public body, Historic Environment Scotland. While we work on shaping our future we can reassure you that all services and products will continue as normal. Please follow our progress and find out more about our new organisation.

Stanley Mills wins five-star status

19 August 2008

Historic Scotland’s newest attraction beats its visitor targets

Five months after opening to the public Stanley Mills has been declared a five-star attraction.

The 18th century water mill complex beside the River Tay, near Perth, has also beaten its visitor number targets for the whole season.

Independent quality assurance inspectors from VisitScotland examined every aspect of the visitor centre, from presentation and retail quality right to the cleanliness of the loos.

Afterwards they declared it to be world class and awarded the coveted five stars which show potential visitors that they can expect a great day out

Kay Finlay, Historic Scotland monument manager, said: “We are delighted at the news, especially as we have only been open such a short time.

“What makes it even better is that our latest figures show we have already beaten our target for visitor numbers with two and a half months go before the season ends.

“A lot of care has gone into making sure that Stanley Mills is a really enjoyable place to come and the staff take a great deal of pride in making sure that everyone has a warm welcome.

“The feedback we have had from the public has been great.

“Children particularly like the interactive displays and especially the water wheels, which give them the chance to see water power in action.

“A lot of the mums who come along have commented on how much they like the audio recordings in the spinning rooms where they can hear about the lives of workers from the past.

“And we also notice that dads often spend quite a bit of time looking at some of the amazing machinery we have on display.”

Despite a challenging season for much of the Scottish tourism industry, Stanley Mills had attracted 18,101 visitors by 17, August. Its target was 18,000 by 31, October.

  • VisitScotland has operated a quality assurance inspection scheme for visitor attractions since 1995.  The scheme gives an independent quality assurance award and incorporates the inspection of properties for Thistle tourist signposting. There are five quality grades for the standard of facilities and services following the assessment of the appropriate areas. The grades are represented by 1-5 stars, and convey the following standards:

*****      Exceptional, World-class

****       Excellent

***        Very Good

**          Good

*           Fair and acceptable

  • Stanley Mills is seven miles north of Perth, off the A9. Postcode: PH1 4QE. Tel: 01738 828 268. It is open in the summer only. Tickets are £5 for adults, £2.50 for children and £3.75 for concessions.

  • The former water mill complex harnessed the power of the River Tay for cotton spinning. The first mill was built in 1786 and the last commercial operations ended in 1989.

  • In 1995 Stanley Mills was purchased by Historic Scotland with financial assistance from the HLF. The buildings are category A listed.

  • The Bell Mill and part of Mid Mill now form a visitor attraction which tells the story of Stanley Mills and provides an education centre and a venue for community use. The HLF provided £2.1 million of the £4.7 million cost of this latest phase.

  • The project to create a visitor centre has involved keeping and emphasising many of the original architectural features. The main contractors in this project were Mansell.

  • Historic Scotland has worked with a number of local groups and former workers to gather information and conserve items associated with the mills. Memories of the workers have also been collected in an oral history project.

  • The visitor centre includes an education area which has been designed to allow schools and educational groups to carry out a wide variety of study projects linked to the Curriculum for Excellence.  

  • Historic Scotland has 345 outstanding historic properties and sites in its care. These include some of the leading tourism attractions in the country, including Edinburgh, Stirling, and Urquhart castles, Fort George, Linlithgow Palace, the Border Abbeys, and Skara Brae. For further details visit:

  • Historic Scotland’s mission is to safeguard Scotland’s historic environment and to promote its understanding and enjoyment.

- ENDS -

For further information

Rebecca Hamilton
Marketing and Media Manager
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8685 / 07788 923871