Perth and Kinross

©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland


A planned industrial village sited on a dramatic bend of the River Tay in Perth and Kinross, Stanley lies 5 miles (8 km) north of Perth. It was founded next to an old corn mill by George Dempster of Dunnichen and laid out in a grid pattern by James Stobie, factor to the Duke of Atholl in 1784. The adjacent Stanley Mills, which operated between 1784 and 1850, were in their time the largest industrial complex in Scotland. The first of these great cotton mills, Bell Mill, was designed by Richard Arkwright and completed in 1790. Drawing water power from the Tay through and 243m (800-foot) tunnel, two other mills, East Mill and Mid Mill, formed additional massive ranges and the settlement of Stanley provided housing for the mill workers. The mill buildings were restored in 1995 and converted to residential accommodation and a Historic Environment Scotland visitor centre. Stanley is named after Lady Amelia Stanley, wife of the 1st Marquis of Atholl.

Stanley had a railway station from 1848 and grew in importance from 1857 as junction between the Highland Railway and the Scottish Midland Junction Railway. The station closed in 1956, the latter line closed to passengers in 1967 and to goods in 1982.

Today the village benefits from a primary school, a post office, two small shops, a community hall, a public park and outdoor sport facilities, including a playing field, bowling green and tennis court.

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