Extensive bleachfield buildings dating in part from circa 1780, enlarged 1834-5, comprising: (A) Beetling/beating house: long 1 and 2-storey gabled range beside lade, (B) 2-storey office and yard store (now kitchen showroom) (C) Chimney stalk.
(A) Beetling/beating house. Late 18th century, enlarged 1834-5. Rubble-built with ashlar dressings. Gables skewputted with flat-topped finials. From E to W:
E, BEAGING HOUSE: circa 1780: set-back single-storey 3-bay with stone flagged roof, slated towards ridge (probably in place of louvres). 2-storey and attic 5-bay block to left with 2-bay gable and gabled loading bay added circa 1835 (datestone weathered). Weatherboarded porch approached by steps at left.
W BLOCK: (original washing/bleaching house?) 1-storey and attic 10-bay centre with advanced 2-storey 3-bay wings, refronted and partially reconstructed 1-34-5. Ground floor loading doors at wings, smaller doors, above ground level, to centre block. Modern awning to W wing. 3-bay W elevation, lower courses 18th century. Slate roofs with long skylights near eaves and ridge ventilators.
N ELEVATION, TO LADE: 18th century, with W gable built 1834-5. Windows blocked. 2 blocked arched waterwheel pits beneath 3 small windows in 2-storey part of beetling house.
WINDOWS: 30-pane glazing pattern, alternatively fixed and sash and case. Roofs stone flagged and slated.
INTERIOR: rudimentary timber construction, including some timber posts. Central gabled part has very early bamboo like cast-iron columns to N contrasting with 1830s standard columns to S. Wide span timber roof to central section. High-ceilinged W gable on timber posts with wrought-iron cross-ties.
(B) Office and yarn store, (part reputedly a school) circa 1835. 2-storey, t-plan rubble-built with ashlar dressings and skewputted gables. OFFICE: 2-storey 2-bay S elevation, windows margined with gablets over. Single-bay W gable with ground floor door. 2 windows and door at E road level. Skewputts. Ashlar panelled gable-end stacks taken down circa 1980. Wrought-iron railings to bridge and to steps in W re-entrant. YARD STORE: single-storey 8-bay elevation to road. 5th bay advanced with gabletted stack. N gable stack. W elevation 2-storey with slightly advanced off-centre gablet with clock and square swept-roofed bellcote. Segmental-arched opening below (access to gasworks opposite) with modern louvred grill. 4 ground floor doors, 1 altered to a window, and 4 windows.
Windows 12-pane sash and case to office, fixed 25-pane to yarn store. Slate roofs.
Interior modernised, but clock weights retained and dentil cornice to boardroom.
(C) CHIMNEY STALK probably circa 1838-9 or 1848-9 (dates of acquisition of steam engines for calenders). Prominent square-section stalk, approx 120 feet high. Brick-built with wrought-ron tie bands and top oversailer cornice. Battered onto tall rubble-built plinth with ashlar cornice, updraught arch, tiebands and iron brackets. Pronounced eastward lean ocurred as mortar set during construction. 8cf Cox's Stack, Rockwell Works etc).
Statement of Special Interest
Bleaching house lying between office and beating house, rebuilt 1950s, is of lesser interest. The biggest Dundee Bleachfield in the early to mid 19th century, the second biggest before and after those dates, and the best surviving example on the Dighty, advantageously situated upstream of the others. Founded in the later 18th century, owned until 1813 by Thomas Collier and Co, when old to Hector Turnbull of Luncarty, a Glasite from Scotland's greatest bleaching family. Later partners were William Baxter and Dr H Boase, eminent chemist. messrs Boase and Co became a subsidiary of Baxter Brothers, and hence of Low and Bonar. Closed in late 1960s and now (1988) a joinery works.
The system of lades, ponds and dams to the W are integral to the workings of the complex, as is the housing for the workforce. Cagegory A for group.
The iron columns in the old beating house are amongst the earliest in the district. The chimney stalk is the most complete of the pre-1850 type in Dundee.