Knockando Wool Mill

Located in the village of Knockando (Moray), the Knockando Wool Mill lies close to the River Spey and is mainland Scotland's last small spinning and weaving mill. The structure is Category A listed and is said to represent industrial heritage of international significance. Thought to be Britain's oldest surviving district woollen mill, a mill was first recorded here in 1784, operated by the Grant family, passing to the Frasers in the 1850s. The buildings were extended in the 1860s when the mill was sold to Alexander Smith and its current machinery was installed a decade later. The mill met the needs of the local community, with farmers bringing fleeces to be spun and woven to produce clothing and blankets. Originally water-powered, drawing water from the Knockando Burn, electricity was installed in 1948, although the water-wheel was retained. The name Alexander Smith and Sons persisted until 1975 when the mill was purchased by Hugh Jones, a Londoner who left the city for rural tranquillity and continued the tradition of making tweeds and blankets.

The Knockando Woolmill Trust was created in 2000 to protect the structure with the vision of a full restoration, costing over £2 million. The mill featured in the BBC television programme Restoration in 2004 and the Trust raised the funds to realise their vision of providing a tourist attraction working alongside an education and training resource. Water power was restored, the Victorian textile machinery refurbished and an exhibition installed in the modernised and extended buildings. HRH Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, restarted the mill wheel to open the completed project in 2012.

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