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Blackhall House, Blackhall Lane, Paisley

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Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved. © Copyright and database right 2019.

General Details and Location

Name of Building
Blackhall House
Other Name(s)
Blackhall Lane, Paisley
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
Listing Category
OS Grid Ref
Location Type
HS Reference No


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.

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). (Historic Scotland)
Building Dates
Mid 19th century with later alterations and additions

Category of Risk and Development History

Category of Risk
Exemptions to State of Risk
Field Visits
20/7/2012, 20/8/2014
Development History
20 July 2012: Building nominated for the Register by local planners. External inspection finds it is disused. There is a broken downpipe to the front which has caused a damp area and loss of paint. Plants are growing in the area and have made footholds at a few other points. A number of 1st floor windows are broken. Planning Permission in Principle for a mixed use development comprising comparison retail floorspace (maximum 1,999 sq metres) and convenience retail floorspace (maximum 999 sq metres), hotel and Class 4, 5and 6 uses (in principle) was lodged with Renfrewshire Council Feb 2012 ref: 12/0118/PP with Listed Building Consent for the demolition of Blackhall House's tower also being sought (11/0849/LB). An application for demolition of light industrial units, Anchor House and Hamilton House, redevelopment of Blackhall House including stair tower and construction of new build flatted residential development to provide 194 no. residential units with 1 commercial unit and associated car parking. (NEW HOUSING DEVELOPMENT) was refused May 2010 ref: 07/1101/PP.
20 August 2014: External inspection finds the complex remains in much the same condition as seen previously.
4 March 2015: Listed Building Consent for the demolition of Blackhall House, Tower, Anchor House and Hamilton House is being sought ref: : 15/0045/LB. Risk level raised to High.
9 September 2015: A member of the public notes the property is now being marketed for sale. GVA is marketing the building as a development opportunity. Listed Building Consent for the demolition of the former mill was refused Aug 2015 ref: 15/0045/LB.
5 April 2018: Consent for demolition was been approved on appeal, Dec 2016 ref: A-350-2000.

Guides to Development

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Additional Contacts/Information Source
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