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Methil in Fife

 

   METHIL, FIFE    The Kirkland Works has been classified as a Flax Dressing Shop (19th Century), a Linen Or Flax Manufacturing Site (19th Century), and a Sailcloth Factory (19th Century). An alternative name was the Kirkland Flax Spinning Mill.
   Kirkland Works is depicted and named on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey 6-inch county map (Fife and Kinross, 1855, sheet 25). As a weaving mill, a hackling mill and sailcloth and linen manufacture, bleaching mill and spinning mills all suggesting flax processing into textiles. By 1885, the site is shown as 'Kirkland Works (Disused)'. By 1906, the site was partially occupied by the National Steel Foundry, replacing the Kirkland Works spinning mills buildings.

    By the 18th century the Leven, which has its source at Loch Leven, was one of Scotlandís most intensively harnessed rivers as a source of water power. Rennie reported in 1810 that the surface of the loch could safely be lowered 2 1/2 ft to reclaim more than 500 acres of land and, by canalising and regulating the winding river at its outlet, still be of advantage to mill owners. In 1813, 40 mills down to the sea were valued at £176 220. In all they had about 360 ft of falls, those with 20 ft or more included Kirkland Flax Spinning Mill. But it was not until 1827 that the Leven Improvement Act eventually enabled the water level of the loch to be lowered 4 1/2ft, and an additional 4 1/2 ft, in effect a reservoir under the control of the mill owners, providing a regular supply of 5000 cu. ft per minute.
    Regulation was achieved by means of powerful sluices at the outlet of the loch at the head of a new, straight, Ďcutí, 32 ft wide and nearly four miles long, replacing the river to Auchmuirbridge. The engineer initially was James Brown. In 1828 the value of the water power of each of the mills on the Leven was reassessed by Robert Thom of Rothesay and Geo. Moon of Russel Mill at a total of more than £2200 per annum.

  Methil docks were primarily used for the export of Coal, lots of it, with some flax imports.

Russian Flax Bale Seals in the Methil Heritage Centre

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Copyright 2022 © Ged Dodd

 aka PeaceHavens Project

 Click here for the terms
of free copy & share &
supporting your Project

https://www.facebook.com/groups/PeaceHavensProject/

 

LINKS TO EVERYTHING ELSE