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Hawick, 31 And 32 Commercial Road, Wilton Mills

Woollen Mill (19th Century)

Site Name Hawick, 31 And 32 Commercial Road, Wilton Mills

Classification Woollen Mill (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Mactaggart Bros, Wool Merchants; Messrs Dicksons And Laings; Messrs Dickson, Beattie And Laing; Messrs Fuhrmann And Kramer; Scott Brothers And Co

Canmore ID 55281

Site Number NT51NW 37

NGR NT 50311 15100

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Scottish Borders, The
  • Parish Hawick
  • Former Region Borders
  • Former District Roxburgh
  • Former County Roxburghshire

Archaeology Notes

NT51NW 37 50303 15090

Wilton Mill faces the River Teviot and consists of large three storey ranges. A clock tower adorns the corner of one. Warehouses adjoins rear and side.

Information taken from Butt, 1967

Messrs Dickson and Laings, Hawick employ a large number of frames worked by power, but the goods they produce are chiefly of a coarser kind.

The brothers laing entered into partnership with Messrs Dickson, and the first part of Wilton Mills was built in 1809-10. The factory was enlarged on two separate occasions. In 1867 the main building, which was the centre of an extensive range of buildings, was destroyed by fire. On the site of the old building, new structures were erected.

The first water powered spinning jennies, in Hawick, were employed at Wilton Mill, as were, in 1830, the first power looms.

Information taken from Bremner, 1969

Part of the mills elaborate lade system is still accessible via the council yard.

Information taken from Strang, 1994

During March 1999, RCAHMS conducted a photographic survey of the standing industrial heritage relating to the textile industry in Hawick. The purpose of this survey was to enhance and augment the holdings of the existing National Monuments Record Scotland.

Visited by RCAHMS (MKO), February 1999


Standing Building Recording (October 1999 - July 2000)

Between October 1999 and July 2000, at the behest of Historic Scotland, Glasgow University Archaeological Research Division (GUARD) carried out a programme of desk assessment and fieldwork in Hawick. The results of this work were to form a structural and historical survey of the mill lade system associated with a number of textile mills in the town. This work was carried out in advance of and during the Hawick Traffic Relief Scheme.

GUARD 2000

Complete Demolition (9 August 2011)

Demolition agreed by Borders Councillors.

Information from BBC News website [Retrieved 09/08/2011]

Laser Scanning (18 May 2016 - 26 May 2016)

NT 50298 15131 A historic building survey and structural watching brief were undertaken, 18–26 May 2016, on the remains of the wheel pit and mill lades associated with the former Wilton Mills, in advance of the development of a supermarket and car park. Wilton Mills was demolished in 2011, and the site has since lain empty.

After demolition, the only remains were the mill lade system and a few upstanding building foundations to the W of the site. The markings left on the walls of the main wheel pit identified at least three phases of waterwheels at Wilton dating to the 19th century, including an undershot wheel, a breast shot wheel and a poncelet wheel. The three mill lades that were identified consisted of the main E/W lade running the whole length of the site (and beyond), and two smaller mill lades to the S as overflow lades. These were bricked up in the later 20th century. A 3D laser scan survey was undertaken of the remains, together with a written and

photographic survey. An element of archive research was also undertaken on the site to identify the general history and development of the site, which further added to previous interpretations of the site and its mill lade system by GUARD in 2000.

Archive: NRHE (intended)

Funder: Wilton Mills Ltd

Diana Sproat – AOC Archaeology Group

(Source: DES, Volume 17)

Building Notice

The surviving buildings at Wilton Mill were demolished between 2011 and 2015. The final demolitions, including the clock tower, took place on the 12th December, 2015.

Information from SBC (CB, MD)

17 October, 2016


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