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Castle Silk Mill, Edinburgh

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1844 Sale Notice: 'EXTENSIVE SILK MILL and MACHINERY, to be SOLD by PUBLIC AUCTION, within the Old Signet Hall, Royal Exchange, Edinburgh, on TUESDAY, August 20, at Two o'clock afternoon, (unless previously disposed of by Private Bargain), THE CASTLE SILK MILL, Fountain Bridge, Edinburgh, erected in the years 1836 and 1837, for the Spinning of Yarn from Silk Waste. The Mill is situate on the banks of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Union Canal, within a few hundred yards of the Port Hopetoun Basin, at Edinburgh. It is less than half a mile distant from the Terminus of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway, and about two miles and a half from the Port of Leith, whence there are almost daily communications with London and other ports, by steam and sailing packets, and the proposed North British Railway, expected to be completed in 1846, will open a direct railway communication with all parts of England.
The building forms the half of an oblong quadrangle, with the engine house detached in the centre of it, and the design is to complete the square, by erecting the other half when required.
The north side is 160 feet long by 56 feet broad, and consists of six stories, including a good attic.
The east side is 216 feet by 30, and consists of three stories and small attic.
The south side is 160 feet by 30, and consists of three stories and small attic. Each story, except the attics, is 11 feet high.
The Mill is built of freestone, with spacious stone staircases, and is of the most substantial and satisfactory workmanship, so that it is not surpassed, if equalled, by any building for a similar purpose in the kingdom. The ground attached to the mill extends to 5 imperial acres and 22 poles, and the situation is open and healthy. The mill is fitted up throughout with machinery of the first-rate description, almost quite new, made by Hibbert, Platt, and Sons, Oldham; W. Higgins and Sons, of Manchester, Fairbairn, of Leeds; and Houldsworth and Sons, and Girdwood and Co., of Glasgow, which has been kept in the best working order. It is disposed as follows :
SOUTH RANGE. First Floor contains 18 pair of dressing frames, and three circular filling engines, &c. Second Floor, 15 pair of dressing frames, and two circular filling engines, &c. Third Floor, one double carding engine, one small willow, one grinding machine for ditto, eight carding engines, two grinding machines for ditto, one 12-spindle slubbing frame, one 96-spindle fly frame, one 100-spindle fly frame, one drawing frame, &c.
EAST RANGE. First Floor.— Mechanics shop, containing large planing-machine, table traversed by a screw, two vertical drills, eight vices, self-acting turning-lathe, and several other lathes, and a variety of other machinery, porter's lodge, mixing-room, counting-rooms, with furniture complete. Second Floor.—Cutting shop, contains two cutting-machines, double scutcher, &c., warehouse with presses, weights, and furniture, manager's room with furniture. Third Floor.— Twisting room, contains three twisting-jennies 33 dozen spindles each, three twisting-jennies 30 dozen spindles each, one double-power reel, one throstle twisting-frame, &e. Small attics of east and south range contain six reels and quantity of old machinery. NORTH (HIGH) RANGE. First Floor.— Card-room contains 24 carding-engines, 36 inches in the wire, 20-inch doffers, 16 carding-engines 42 inches in the wire, 16-inch doffers. four 12-spindle slubbing-frames, three 24- spindle oat°, three 72-spindle ditto, four 120-spindle fly frames, four 100-spindle fly-frames, seven drawing-frames, and a variety of other machinery and requisites. Second Floor.—Patent throstle room, contains two twisting jennies 30 dozen spindles each, one ditto 24 dozen spindles, thirteen 200 spindles, patent throstle-frames (Ivison's patent), first, second, third, and fourth drawing-frames, roving-frame, all with spiral gill, made by Fairbairn. of Leeds. Third Floor.— Eight pair of mules, 36 dozen spindles each, one twisting jenny, 24 dozen spindles. Fourth Floor.—Six pair of mules, 36 dozen spindles each, two pair of 34 dozen spindles each, one twisting jenny, 24 dozen spindles. Fifth Floor.— Eight pair of mules, 36 dozen spindles each, one twisting jenny, 24 dozen spindles. Sixth Floor (Attic).— Ten twisting jennies, 30 dozen spindles each, eight twisting jennies 15 dozen spindles each, one pair of mules 36 dozen spindles each (not complete). The Engine-house contains two steam-engines, on the improved condensing principle, of 50-horse power each, erected in 1839 and 1840; over the boilers are fitted up the stove for drying and the vats for boiling the silk. There are several outbuildings for ,joiners and smiths' shops, dressing shop, silk store, &c., and the work contains a great variety of machinery and utensils not here specified, suitable for working the mill to its full extent. There is a plentiful supply of water from the canal, from a well, and from a large stone tank on the premises. The mill is well lighted by windows six feet nine inches by four feet, and is fitted throughout with gas-pipes and burners, and thoroughly heated with steam. An abundant supply of coals is procured by canal and railway, .... Labour is well known to be very cheap in Edinburgh, and there is a large population in the immediate neighbourhood of the mill. .... With little alteration the carding and spinning machinery could be adapted to the purpose of cotton spinning, and the patent throstle machinery is quite suited for fine flax spinning.
For further particulars apply to Messrs. CROWDER and MAYNARD, Solicitors, 57, Coleman-street, London; Messrs. A. and A. MACGEORGE, Writers, Glasgow, Messrs. W. HIGGENS and SONS, of Salford; JOHN RUTHERFURD, W.S., 11, Queen-street, Edinburgh; or to JOHN ARCHIBALD CAMPBELL, C.S., Edinburgh, who is in possession of inventories of the title-deeds, of plans of the property, and of the machinery. Mr. Miller, at the Mill, will show the property, on written orders from any of the above-named gentlemen.'[1]

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Sources of Information

  1. Morning Herald (London) - Tuesday 13 August 1844