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Garlogie Mills, Museum Of Power, Turbine And Beam Engine House

Beam Engine (19th Century), Engine House (19th Century)

Site Name Garlogie Mills, Museum Of Power, Turbine And Beam Engine House

Classification Beam Engine (19th Century), Engine House (19th Century)

Canmore ID 18513

Site Number NJ70NE 12.01

NGR NJ 78224 05493

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Aberdeenshire
  • Parish Skene
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District Gordon
  • Former County Aberdeenshire

Recording Your Heritage Online

Garlogie. Dundee-scale woollen factory, began with water-power, then, from c.1830, it was driven by a gigantic beam-engine with elegant Doric column at centre and a 16ft flywheel. This is still 'in situ', in brick-built engine-house to rear of rubble-built factory (of which 16 bays demolished) for Haddens of Aberdeen. It ceased operation in 1904 and became site for water turbine, 1923, Escher Wyss, which provided electricity to estate and grid until 1960s. It was served by lade from Loch of Skene (surge-tank and out-take works still extant).

Surviving south wing converted to village hall, 1931, David Morris, extended 1989. Museum of Power conversion of engine-house and turbine-hall, 1994-5, Douglas T Forrest Architects for Gordon District Council and North-East Scotland Museums Service.

Taken from "Aberdeenshire: Donside and Strathbogie - An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Ian Shepherd, 2006. Published by the Rutland Press

Archaeology Notes

NJ70NE 12.01 78224 05493

(Location cited as NJ 782 055). c.1830. A single-cylinder beam engine in a masonry engine house, driving the Garlogie wollen mills; disused since 1904 but virtually intact. In an adjoining house is a Brown Boverie water turbine driving an English Electric generator, now disused.

J R Hume 1977.

Air photography: AAS/94/18/G35/16-30.

NMRS, MS/712/21.

(Additional bibliography cited).

NMRS, MS/712/64.

Garlogie, village, workers' houses and beam engine shed.

Air photographs: AAS/00/08/CT.

NMRS, MS/712/100.


Publication Account (1986)

Mills for the spinning of wool, together with a small industrial community, were well established at Garlogie by 1843 under the ownership of Alexander Hadden & Son of Aberdeen. Evidently steam-power was then being used to augment the water-powered machinery, and latterly the engine was superseded by a water-turbine. It ceased to operate in 1904, when the mills were closed and afterwards partl demolished. All that now survives is the masonry built engine-house and adjacent parts of the buildings.

The engine, although derelict, is virtualy intact and enjoys the distinction of being the only Scottish example of its type to remain in situ. Compactly arranged within an area of 34ft 6in (10.52m) by 8ft 6in (2.60m), the engine is a house-built rotative beam-engine of meidum size, with a double-acting cylinder, separate condenser and air pump. The cylinder, fitted wih an integral valve-chest, had a 50in (1.27m) stroke and an estimated 16in-18in (c 430mm) bore. Other principle features are as follows: the cast-iron beam, 16ft 3in (4.95m) between the centres with its connecting-rod and parllel motion for the piston-rod; linkages for the air pump and feed pump; and the main drive-shaft which turns a 16 ft-diameter (4.88m) flywheel and engages with a cenifugal governor and an eccentric by means of bevel gearing. The engine probably developed about 50 horsepower.

The maker is not known but, assuming that the engine dates from the late 1830s, it may possibly be ascribed to Mitchell & Neilson of Glasgow, whose known engines had similar design features.

Information from ‘Monuments of Industry: An Illustrated Historical Record’, (1986).


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