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Johnstone, High Street, Johnstone Mills

Textile Mill (18th Century)

Site Name Johnstone, High Street, Johnstone Mills

Classification Textile Mill (18th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Bootlace Factory; William Paton

Canmore ID 79706

Site Number NS46SW 33

NGR NS 42378 63376

NGR Description Centred NS 42378 63376

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Renfrewshire
  • Parish Paisley (Renfrew)
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Renfrew
  • Former County Renfrewshire

Architecture Notes

NS46SW 33.00 42378 63376

For lade, sluices and weirs see NS46SW 289.00

NS46SW 33.01 centred NS 42372 63385 Textile Mill (Old End Mill)

NS46SW 33.02 centred NS 42386 63359 Textile Mill

NS46SW 33.03 centred NS 42361 63361 Engine House; Boiler House

NS46SW 33.04 centred NS 42336 63369 Building (Dye House)

NS46SW 33.05 NS 42329 63333 Engine House (Turbine House)

NS46SW 33.06 centred NS 42400 63304 Store (Threadmill Dispatch)

NS46SW 33.07 centred NS 42367 63311 Store (Finished Goods etc)

NS46SW 33.08 NS 42407 63329 Store (inflammable liquids)

NS46SW 33.09 NS 42436 63338 Gate House (Porters Lodge)

NS46SW 33.10 centred NS 42416 63371 Office

NS46SW 33.11 NS 42402 63296 Mansion House

Johnstone Mill is situated on the S bank of the Black Cart Water and immediately W of Johnstone Bridge in Barrochan Road.

The complex of buildigs forming Johnsotne Mills includes the Old Mill (NS46SW 33.01), the Main Mill and Tower (NS46SW 33.02), storage sheds for raw and finished goods, boiler and engine houses a suit of offices and several other smaller buildings. The complex is connected to a mill lade system (NS46SW 289.00) of weirs, sluices and dams which served several other commercial enterprises. Additional to the above is the site of the old corn mill which stood at c.NS 4244 6334.

Dating from 1782 the original (old) mill was five storeys high and was built to provide a maximum span of uninterrupted floor space to prepare and spin cotton for use by hand loom weavers. By 1786 work had begun expnading the mill to almost double the size and a further range of buildings were contsructed on the E side of the mill between the old corn and cotton mill.

Initially powered by a single water wheel a second wheel was added later. In 1837 a large fire destroyed the S half of the mill after which a beam engine was added to provide supplementary power. In the period 1940-1950 water power was replaced by a single turbine which generated electricity and a second turbine was added in the 1950's.

The mill was photographically surveyed by RCAHMS in 2003 prior to a planned conversion which included a Conservation Plan to preserve the more historically and architecturally important parts of the mill complex.

Information from RCAHMS (MKO), April 2003

The earliest surviving cotton mill in Scotland and one of the earliest in Britain. Comparable with Masson Mill, Cromford, Derbyshire and Stanley Mills, Perthshire. Based on the Arkwright principle of mill design but using Scottish construction techniques. Johnstone Old Mill is a rare surviving example of one of the most typical types of eighteenth century water-powered cotton mills in Scotland.



Photographic Survey (August 1963)

Photographs of Ravenswood House and mills in Johnstone, Renfrewshire by the Scottish National Buildings Record in August 1963.

Desk Based Assessment (November 2002)

Carried out with view to adaptive re-use of this historic mill


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