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Unlocking the door on Stanley's store

17 July 2008

Historic Scotland’s newest visitor attraction, Stanley Mills, is hosting its first ever Object Store Open Day on Saturday 19 July. Tourists and locals to the visitor centre on this day will have the rare opportunity to view the artefact store, where there is a vast array of industrial machinery and objects that are not on permanent display.

Visitors will have the chance to join a special free guided tour led by a member of Historic Scotland’s Collections Team who will delve into the past of Stanley Mills by looking at how these objects were vital to everyday work and bringing to life the memories of the people who worked there.

Hugh Morrison, Historic Scotland’s Collections Registrar, said;

“The artefact store has a wealth of fascinating industrial objects that are an important resource in uncovering how the mills worked and changed over time. We are constantly learning more about this collection from the people who worked at the mills and we are eager to gather even more information to help us interpret it to future generations.”

Historic Scotland is keen for anyone with any objects or stories about Stanley Mills, or the textile industry in general, to come forward and share their knowledge with a member of the Collections Team.

At the Object Store Open Day there will be guided tours from 11am and visitors will have the opportunity to see machinery associated with cotton production, power generation and the transportation of cotton around the mill. These objects will include tape weaving looms, spinners, vacuum pumps and a Listers Autotruck.



  • Stanley Mills is situated seven miles north of Perth, off the A9. Postcode: PH1 4QE. Tel: 01738 828 268.

  • 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.

For further information

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