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Kirriemuir, Bellies Brae, Gairie Works

Jute Works (19th Century)

Site Name Kirriemuir, Bellies Brae, Gairie Works

Classification Jute Works (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Garie Mill; Gairie Linen Works; Bellies Brae; Gairie Burn; Ogilvie's

Canmore ID 72776

Site Number NO35SE 61

NGR NO 38602 53795

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Angus
  • Parish Kirriemuir
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Angus
  • Former County Angus

Archaeology Notes

NO35SE 61 38602 53795.

(Location cited as NO 387 538). Garie Mill, late 19th century. A group of snecked-rubble buildings, consisting of a 2-storey, 2- by 4-bay office block, a 2-storey, 18-bay finishing block, 8 bays of north-light weaving sheds, and single-storey stores and other ancillary blocks, some brick built. There are two engine-houses, one of which, until c. 1970, housed a Douglas and grant tandem-compound, drop-valve engine of 1916. There is a tall circular-section brick chimney. Some interesting machinery, including narrow jute looms and calendars and mangles.

J R Hume 1977.

This factory was built as a linen works in about 1873-4 by John Ogilvy, and is situated next to the Gairie Burn to the S of the town centre. It grew to specialise in jute weaving, and was eventually taken over by the neighbouring company of J and D Wilkie, after which the factory grew to specialise first in polypropolene, and later in non-woven fabrics. Jute weaving is now concentrated at Wilkie's Marywell Brae Works nearby.

The buldings are built mostly from dressed and squared red sandstone, and the hearyt of the factory comproses a large block of former power-loom weaving single-storeyed sheds (two-storeyed at the S end), with two associated steam engine houses, a boiler house and stores to the E. Both the main steame engines have been removed, but some of the original underfloor details have survived, as have the steam engine foundations in the N engine and dyamo houses.

At the time of survey, the factory was in use, and despite the changed function of its many parts, was remarkably intact. the major structural changes included the removal of nearly all line shafts and steam engines, the loss of the factory chimney stack, fire station, blacksmith's shop, waste store and water tower, and the filling in of the pond. in addition, a new yarn store and loading bay have been inserted, filling in open space towards to E side of the works. Most of these changes were associated with the takeover by Wilkie's in the early 1970s.

This survey attempts to record the factory as it was in December 1989 using a works plan dated 1988 (see RCAHMS DC 33068 and DP 009312) and a description of the various parts of the factory (see RCAHMS MS 5244).

General Features

Most buildings in the works are built from squared red sandstone rubble, with dressed quoins and margins...most bays of the former weaving sheds are north-lit with uneven-pitched slated roofs carrying octagonal cast iron ventilators and wind-vanes. The inside of the roofs are lathe and plastered, and have c.25mm tie-rods running across the bays at wallhead at slightly narrower intervals than those of the columns. Some other bays and individual buildings have even -pitched slate roofs supported by king-post roof trusses comprising wooden tie-beams, raking struts rafters, purlins and slateboards. Exceptions to the pattern of octagonal roof ventilators are the occasional round sheet metall ventilators of similar size, and in some areas , the appearance of tall, wood-framed louvered ridge ventilators , each with its own small pinded slate roof. All roofs have cast iron gutters. Most windows in the works are wooden-framed, usually having 8 or 10 panes, arranged vertically (2 panes wide) with the top pair pivoting open inwards on bottom hinges. Other common features to be found throughout the works include fluorescent strip-lighting, a fire-fighting sprinkler stem and a network of steam-heated convector heaters. Compressed air is also piped to some areas for a variety of purposes.

Visited by RCAHMS ( MKO) 7 December 1989.

RCAHMS MS 5244, DC 33068 and DP 009312.

Architecture Notes


Engine House 1895


Photographic Survey (1965)

Photographic survey by the Scottish National Buildings Record/Ministry of Works in December 1965.

Publication Account (2013)

After successful trials of power loom weaving in the Old Secession Hall, Stewart and Ogilvie built their new factory in 1873. A jute weaving shed over a deep basement set into the hillside, giving a two storey front, engine houses of 1895 and 1915 (the tandem compound engine by Douglas & Grant was scrapped c1970). Later owned by J &D Wilkie, it closed c.2010. Power was transmitted from shafts below the floor. The north-lit roof is characterised by zinc octagonal ventilators and louvred clerestorey ventilators over the warping department. Dundee engineers Robertson & Orchar supplied the design, millwrightwork and looms. The town gasworks is on the other side of the public car park beside the factory and the burn.

M Watson, 2013


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