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Arbroath, Dens Road, Baltic Works

Bonded Warehouse (20th Century), Linen Mill (19th Century)

Site Name Arbroath, Dens Road, Baltic Works

Classification Bonded Warehouse (20th Century), Linen Mill (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Baltic Spinning Mill

Canmore ID 35617

Site Number NO64SW 55

NGR NO 63947 41474

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Angus
  • Parish Arbroath And St Vigeans
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Angus
  • Former County Angus

Archaeology Notes

NO64SW 55 63947 41474

(Location cited as NO 640 415). Baltic Spinning Mill, Dens Road, built 1861. A roughly rectangular complex, with a 4-storey and attic, 3- by 13-bay rubble main block of jack-arch construction, with pediments over the end pairs and middle 3 windows. To one side is a 2-storey range, with a circular section brick chimney, and at the rear is a group of single-storey north-light sheds. Now a bonded store.

J R Hume 1977.

Site Management (18 December 1997)

Power loom linen weaving factory, ashlar and squared rubble-built. Slate roofs, Windows multi-paned sash and case, mostly now blocked.

Andrew Lowson (1813-1897 a "striking and loveable person") was by 1864 easily the most important manufacturer in Arbroath, having twice the horse power at his disposal and twice as many employees as the nearest competitor. Following Lowson's death, and injudicious overseas investments by his sons, all eight of his mills were put up for sale. In 1905 only one of the six mills was at work, and in 1948 the firm wound up.

Thereafter Baltic Works had a new lease of life as a whisky bond that ceased c.1990.

In Angus the surviving fireproof mills are (2003) one in Brechin (East Mill, 1837), and three in Arbroath, (Baltic, 1852, and Alma Works 1857, and Brothock Mill/ Arbroath Herald, later part built c1890). The form of roof and advanced quoined bays suggest familiarity with the Alexander Thread Mill, Duke Street Glasgow, by the architect Charles Wilson (1849) and Tay Works and Edward Street Mill, Dundee (both 1851).

Upgraded B to A, October 2003. (Historic Environment Scotland List Entry)


Publication Account (2013)

1854 neo-classical fireproof front with three pediments, wrought iron roof, a large beam engine house to the rear and a circular chimney. The roof and quoined treatment of the slightly advanced end bays is similar to Edward St Mill and Tay Works (DW16/23) in Dundee, both 1851. This was always for weaving, not spinning, until it became a whisky bond in 1932. It wove yarn spun in Green’s Mill (1837, burned down 1991) on the other side of the Brothock. Both were owned by Andrew Lowson, the biggest manufacturer in the town. Ward Mill Bleachworks adjoin to the north- an open area was studded with posts- and Netherward Works was to the south: parts of both survive. Shank’s Dens Ironworks specialised in lawnmowers, a half-slated shed north of Baltic Works.

M Watson, 2013


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