Milling Matters – Scottish Mills Weekend Conference 2022

Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust, along with SPAB Scotland are thrilled to invite you to the first ever conference all about mills and milling in Scotland, to be held in Perth’s Upper and Lower City Mills and with a day trip to visit other mills. Dates are now set, most things confirmed and tickets are available but we hope to surprise you with some extras and updates as we get closer to the event.

The event will be held on National Mills Weekend, the 7th and 8th of May and will be packed with interest, covering many aspects of mills from industrial heritage to bread making and hydro-power. The event will also feature online lectures in the run up to the in person conference.

Saturday starts with a selection of short talks in the Mercure Hotel Perth, itself the former Upper City mills.  Topics covered will include looking after mills as a community trust, learning the skills to become a miller, heritage grains and breadmaking, micro hydro-power, the Scottish textile industry and a short history of Perth Lower City Mills given by PKHT director David Strachan.  We will visit Lower City Mills in the afternoon, and lively discussions about the future of mill conservation and heritage milling and their associated craft skills in Scotland.

Sunday will consist of a guided tour by coach to visit several mill sites of interest around Perth.


Welcome, tea and coffee

10am – 1pm
Lectures, Mercure Hotel (Upper City Mills)
Speakers will include:

David Strachan, PKHT – A short history of Perth Lower City Mills
Sian Loftus, Birse Community Trust – Finzean water mills
Gordon Black, Learning Hydro – Retrofitting water mills for electrical generation
Mark Watson, Historic Environment Scotland – Water power in the textile industry
Andrew Whitley, Scotland the Bread – Real flour, real bread and the heritage grain resurgence
Karen Mason, Warwick Bridge Mill – Learning to be a Miller
Representative from the New Lanark Trust

1pm – 2pm
Lunch, Mercure Hotel (Upper City Mills)

2pm – 4:45pm
Activities, Lower City Mills:

Tours of Lower City Mills
Mills in Scotland Exhibition and Pop-up Café with Scottish milled goods
Discussion groups covering; Milling & Millwrighting Skills, Mill Structural Conservation – it’s future in Scotland

4.30pm Closing remarks


Coach tours to former textile mills within 30 mins of Perth and a riverside walk along the River Ericht by Blarigowrie with Mark Watson of Historic Environment Scotland.

We will visit the complex of flax/linen mills which once thrived in the area. The entire range of fully converted to now almost vanished mills can be seen along with many interesting features.

1pm-2:30pm Lunch break

2:30 Afternoon visit to Stanley Mills

Return to Mercure Hotel


Early Bird Weekend offer  (until 15th March)      £95
Weekend   (inc. Saturday lunch)      £110
Saturday only  (inc. lunch)      £75

To book conference tickets please click here

For conference enquiries, please email us


The Mercure Hotel are offering a special 15% discount for conference attendees. A reference number will provided in your booking confirmation email.


Milling Matters – Four Fabulous Lectures in the run-up to the conference weekend. (All on a Tuesday, 12pm-1:30pm)

Tickets for the online lectures can be bought individually, or as a discounted joint ticket for all four. (These tickets are separate to the weekend in-person event and are not included within the price of the weekend ticket.)

1 Feb - Online lecture - John O Groats Mill Trust

Join Rognvald Brown and Bryony Robinson of the John O Groats Mill Trust to hear about their journey to bring new life into the mill. Q&A including Project Architect Chris Bowes will follow.


8 Mar - Online lecture - Life Cycles of Textile Mills

Industrial Heritage expert Mark Watson will give his overview of how textile mills can be rejuvenated and put to new purposes.



5 Apr - Online lecture - Dusty Mill, Dusty Miller

A virtual tour and talk on Charlcote Mill in Warwickshire with SPAB Fellow and Miller, Karl Grevatt.



3 May - Online lecture - Saving Rosefield Mills

Join Luke Moloney, Chair of the Dumfries Historic Buildings Trust to find out about the challenges of saving Rosefiled Mills and their exciting plans for the huge textile complex at the river’s edge in the town centre.


About SPAB Scotland                                                                                        

Members of the SPAB living and working in Scotland decided to form their own semi-autonomous group in 1995. Scotland has its own building traditions, architectural language and property laws, all of which are best dealt with locally.

If you would like to find out more about SPAB Scotland events and activities, please contact our Scotland Officer, Lucy Stewart at [email protected] to be added to the mailing list. Members get all of the benefits of SPAB membership, plus a dedicated series of events, both technical and recreational.

Membership administration is handled by the SPAB in London, so please join online.

About Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust

Working independently and collaboratively to preserve, enhance and increase understanding of Perth and Kinross’s historic environment. Since 1988 the Trust has been achieving a wide remit encompassing historic building conservation, archaeology, access to the historic environment and interpretation. Our emphasis has always been, and continues to be, on a high quality approach, bringing economic, social and educational benefit while securing a future for Perth and Kinross’s historic environment.

Image credits – Lower City Mills ©Mike Bell, John O Groats Mill ©Sophie Robertson, Stanley Mills ©SIHS Eric Watt Collection, Charlecote Mill by Fred William Newton Whitehead©Karl Grevatt, Rosefield Mills©Hugh Bryden/Dumfries Historic Buildings Trust

COVID-19 Operations Statement

Trust staff now work a blend of office and home-working so enquiries are best directed via email as monitoring of office telephones is reduced. Contractors/deliveries requiring access to Lower City Mills should arrange with a member of staff in advance.

General enquiries can still be made using the Contact Us page.