North Woodside Flint Mill, River Kelvin, Glasgow, Scotland

This evening, I am reporting on one of the best preserved examples of industrial history in the Glasgow region.

From medieval times through to the Industrial Revolution and beyond rivers in S.W. Scotland were a key source of cheap energy to power a wide array of mills including grain, textile manufacture and processing, paper manufacturing, cotton-spinning and even gunpowder manufacture. These mills were located on such rivers as the Clyde, White Cart and Kelvin.

To the west of Glasgow, close to a popular walking trail along the banks of the River Kelvin, can be found the ruins of the North Woodside Flint Mill which, despite its name, was used for a wide range of milling activities over the centuries, viz:

  • First recorded as a Meal Mill in medieval times.
  • Used for grinding barley in the 18th century, an activity which continued in tandem with other uses.
  • From 1750s onwards was used for grinding coloured dyes for use in the pottery industry.
  • Used for Gunpowder manufacture from 1810.
  • Used as a Corn and Flour Mill in 1840s.
  • Flint was ground intermittently from the 1750s through to 1963. Output was used for the manufacture of sanitary ware and pipes in a process entailing burning, grinding and drying. Water power was used in the grinding stage.

Location of the North Woodside Mill was influenced by combination of a flat site  with a gradient. A dam was constructed upstream and water channelled down a narrow lade to power the grinding mill.

A fascinating piece of industrial history. The lade still exists.

North Woodside Flint Mill, River Kelvin, Glasgow, Scotland

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