Old Tay Works: Old Mill, 25, Brown Street, Dundee

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

General Details and Location

Name of Building
Old Tay Works: Old Mill
Other Name(s)
Pentland Works; Hospital Ward Mill
25, Brown Street, Dundee
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
Listing Category
OS Grid Ref
NO 39741 30379
Location Type
HS Reference No


Old Mill: Circa 1833-36 1-2- and 3-storey and attic iron framed flax mill, rubble-built, consisting of: (a) 1834-6 3-storey and attic 10-bay mill with 3-bay gable to Brown St. Gable with hoist door at 2nd floor and 2 windows in attic. Projecting 1-by 2-bay stair and hoist doors with pedimented gable, oculus and the base of a small bellcote at E. Windows in N elevation blocked, others are multi-paned sash and case, some with original hoist doors. Tall engine house attached to E gable with 2 round-headed windows each to N and S, 1 with larger door inserted for replacement of engine. (b) W wing circa 1836, 3 storey with smaller attic, 7 bays to Brown St and blank S gable with skewputts and flat-topped finial. Windows 4-paned casement to Brown St and multi-paned sash and case to rear. (c) 1849-51 2-storey batching house forms U-plan with mill. Walls partially hidden by later concrete external stairs. Piended roof. Court roofed in 1860s with kingpost trusses and ground floors of 2- and 3-storey blocks is carried on stout flanged iron colonnades. 1- storey batching shed with piended roof added to S, circa 1889-91. Slate roofs.

Originally known as "Hospital Ward Mill". Wm Boyack was the biggest flax spinner in Dundee in 1836 but bankrupt in 1842. His mills lay empty for 7 years until bought by Gilroy Brothers and Co. Tay Works. After the Coffin Mill, this is the biggest pre-1850 mill in Dundee, with a particularly interesting interior, similar to that at Pitalpin Mill. Contains 19th century foundry patterns. The West Mill, Engine House and Chimney closely relate to the Tay Works Lochee Road front. (Historic Environment Scotland List Entry)
Building Dates
1833-36; 1849-51; 1860s; 1889-91

Category of Risk and Development History

Category of Risk
Exemptions to State of Risk
West Mill, Engine House and Chimney do not appear to be at risk and are therefore exempt from this record.
Field Visits
09/01/2009, 23/02/2010, 11/5/2016, 21/06/2018
Development History
January 2009: Local planner reports that demolition was recently refused and a developer has been involved in plans to restore the buildings.
February 2010: External inspection finds other than the ground floor sections in commercial use, the building remains derelict. Most windows are boarded up. Where glass survives it is often broken or cracked. The building is not weather tight.
27 November 2012: Local planners report no change at the former mill. Part of the building remains occupied.
11 May 2016: External inspection finds the building remains in much the same condition as seen previously. Rainwater goods are blocked in places and leaking in others. One window frame is now falling in the West block. Whilst the main block roof appears in fair condition, the abutting section to the rear may be deteriorating. Risk level raised to Moderate from Low given the deterioration to windows. The complex remains partly in use.
21 June 2018: External inspection finds the building remains in much the same condition as seen previously. More windowframes have been lost to the upper floor and a rooflight is now missing glazing. The ground floor appears to remain in use.

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number
01382 433105


Current Availability
Appointed Agents
Occupancy Type
Present/Former Uses
BARR original text : Mill to Shop
Name of Owners
Unverified see FAQ on ascertaining ownership
Type of Ownership

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
E Gauldie, THE DUNDEE TEXTILE INDUSTRY (1969) pp 99, 129. Shown on 1839 map of St David's Parish. McKean & Walker (1984), p.99.
Online Resources
Textile Industries
Original Entry Date
Date of Last Edit