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Deanston is a hidden community which in a short period of time became a centre of excellence for industrial and mechanical engineering.  It is one of the finest examples of an early industrial mill village.

Originally named Deans Town after Walter Drummond, who was the Dean of Dunblane in 1500, the village grew up around the Deanston Cotton Mill which was built by the Buchanan brothers in 1785.

The Buchanan’s were from Carston, near Manchester, and had become very wealthy cotton and yarn merchants.  In 1808 they sold the mill to James Finlay & Co who developed it into the industrial leader of its time. 

James Smith, the most famous manager of the mill, was a successful entrepreneur and is recognised for many inventions in the fields of wool spinning, agricultural drainage and mechanical and general engineering.  It was Smith who built the unusually designed accommodation over four levels for his workforce, called the divisions, which was new in its day and still home to many today.   At its peak, the mill had over 1,000 workers and the largest waterwheel in Europe, Hercules.

The village also enjoyed gas lighting from 1913, some 45 years ahead of the rest of the village.

The mill closed in 1965 and became the Deanston Distillery which opened in 1966.  It is now owned by Burns Stewart and produces the Deanston single malt whisky. 

for more information click on these links  DeanstonWhisky,     DeanstonDistillery

Most of the original industrial buildings and workers' houses are still standing and can be viewed as part of a pleasant walk along the River Teith.

If you are interested to find out more about the history and natural heritage of Deanston you can contact the Kilmadock Society. Handprints

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