Mills of Camserney
Once famous for its mills, milling no longer takes place in the village of Camserney the buildings either demolished or converted to houses.
The natural flow of water below the Falls of Camserney was routed off the Camserney Burn above Crachan Farm to power a series of mills before rejoining the burn.
Camserney would have had a meal mill for hundreds of years and like so many villages it had its sawmill. Lintmills were added, almost certainly in the second half of the 18th century and probably erected by Hugh Cameron. As linen manufacture became steam powered and moved to the cities and sheep farming became common in the area, the people of Camserney changed to milling wool and bobbins.
- The 1862 and 1899 Ordnance Survey maps
- Patricia Mcinnes's History of Camserney Farm
- Historic Environment Sotland
In the 19th century there was a carpet manufactory on Crachin Farm in the village but it is difficult to find much detail about its history. It probably replaced the lintmill on Crachin. The building no longer stands.
In 1842 Rev. Duncan Dewar wrtiting for the New Statistical Account, noted 'There was a carpet manufactory established some years ago at Camserney, by Sir Neil Menzies, Bart., a gentleman who deserves well of this country, and who cannot be too highly spoken of for his laudable and assiduous exertions in promoting every species of improvement connected with mechanics and agriculture. This manufactory has hitherto been attended with considerable success. It affords employment to between 20 and 30 hands, and has an annual consumption of about 600 stones of wool.'
A report in the People's Journal, in April 1860, tells us who was running the mill - 'Margaret Carmichael, of Camserney , a young girl of respectable appearance, was accused with wilfully setting fire, or the attempt to set fire, to the mill at Camserney, occupied by Messer's Alexander, Peter, and Donald McNab, carpet manufacturers.' She was found not guilty due to lack of evidence.
Census records show that each of the three brothers were described at different times as spinner, woollen manufacturer, carpet weaver, hand loom weaver or farmer so carpet weaving was only part of the family business. Blankets were certainly made in the mill. Indeed, on the OS maps their building was labelled 'Woollen Mill'. By the 1870s, Robert Fraser had taken over as the carpet manufacturer and he was still manufacturing carpets and tweed there in 1903.
Unfortunately it has not been possible to find anything about the carpets they made.
Below the Old Corn Mill was the sawmill run in the 19th century by John McIntosh and then his son Alexander. An attached wheelwright's mill manufactured bobbins for the Dundee market.
Page last updated - 5/12/15