Tain Museum Image Library

Old Mill, Spinningdale
Tain Museum Image Library
Old Mill, Spinningdale

Spinningdale cotton mill, situated on the North shore of the Dornoch Firth was built in 1792 by George Dempster (owner of Skibo Estate) and David Dale, the successful industrialist and entrepreneur, who had already established a cotton mill complex along with Robert Owen at New Lanark. Although the site offered most of the usual requirements of a cotton mill - fast flowing burn for water power, climate damp enough to prevent cotton threads breaking, a means of importing the raw cotton, in this case by sea - the main reason for locating the factory here was to relieve poverty and unemployment.

Ironically, problems with the labour force was the main reason it was not successful. There was no tradition of factory work in the Highlands and workers absented themselves at lambing, peat cutting and harvesting times. Thus, when the building was gutted by fire in 1806, it was not deemed worthwhile to rebuild it and it remained a ruin. It is now in a precarious state so best viewed from the road.
Picture added on 14 July 2005
The mill was built by James Boog of Dornoch.
Added by Margaret Noyes on 21 October 2015
Wasnt Mr Dale the fellow involved in the New Lanark mills and social experiment?
Added by Simona Macangus on 08 January 2016
Yes, that was the same David Dale.
Added by Lynn McAlister on 27 February 2017
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