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- Category: C
- Date Added: 14/06/2006
- Local Authority: Renfrewshire
- Planning Authority: Renfrewshire
- Parish: Paisley
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NS 48842 63457
- Coordinates: 248842, 663457
Mid 19th century with later alterations and additions. Originally silk throwing mill, converted into paper mill in late 19th century, subsequently converted for office use. 4-storey and attic cream painted brick 13-bay mill range with 7-stage red brick tower to NE; further reduced 2-storey range to E forming U-plan. Brick; render to S elevation. Segmental headed openings with projecting masonry cills.
FURTHER DESCRIPTION: regular W elevation with later wide square headed openings to ground floor; entrance inserted to ground floor right with wallhead box dormer above. 4-bay N and S elevations with single rounded arched windows to attic. Tower with oculi with yellow brick surrounds to top stage; brick eaves course with masonry cornice platform piended roof with decorative cast-iron brattishing..
Regular fenestration of variety of multi-pane (predominantly 9-pane) fixed light and top-hopper windows. Grey slate; lead flashings to tower.
INTERIOR: comprehensively modernised with little remaining visible evidence of former industrial use. Tower retains lift machinery.
Statement of Special Interest
Blackhall House is a very prominent building located on the S bank of the White Cart River.; its tower is highly visible from many vantage points across the town. Historically this area was Paisley's industrial heartland; successive OS maps show the increasing number of large complexes of mills and other works in the area. The building¿s regular elevations are good examples of those found on large mill buildings.
Blackhall House is notable for its segmental headed openings to all elevations and the round headed windows to the gable ends. The tower is also highly distinctive with its piended roof and brattishing. This mill may well be the only purpose built silk throwing mill in Scotland, and was built for D Speirs and Son in around 1848 (Hume). The term 'throwing' can describe a particular part of the silk making process, that of giving the twist to the yarns, or can mean the entire process of turning raw silk into threads. Paisley had an international reputation for its textiles and although silk production was never on the scale of the more famous cotton (such as at the nearby Anchor Mills). This building is important evidence of Paisley¿s industrial past. The decline of the silk industry is demonstrated by the fact that this factory was converted into a paper mill by the end of the 19th century (see 2nd Edition OS map), when it is likely that the silk throwing firm went out of business. The site has been much altered with the reduction of the parallel 4-storey range to 2-storeys and the loss of several ancillary buildings. However the remaining 4-storey range and tower are important examples of industrial architecture and make a valuable contribution to the social and economic history of the town, as well as to its streetscape, and given the loss of many of these types of buildings, are an important survival.
Plans for the conversion of the mill were submitted in 1903 by A F Craig and Co for the conversion to a paper mill for William MacIntyre Jr and Co (DSA).
1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map (1857). A McLean (ed), Local Industries of Glasgow and the West of Scotland (1901). J Butt, Industrial Archaeology of Scotland (1967). J Hume, Industrial Archaeology Vol 1 (1976). 'Textile Mills¿, Industrial Archaeology Review Vol XVI No 1 (1993). Dictionary of Scottish Architects, www.scottisharchitects.org.uk.
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