The Mill on the Fleet

The Mill at Fleet
The Mill at Fleet

The Mill on the Fleet  – The Mill was built in 1788 as a cotton spinning mill by James Birtwhistle from Yorkshire and was the second mill to be built on this site. The water wheel on the gable end was used to drive the machinery to spin the cotton.

(click to enlarge images)

By 1800, because of increasing competition from steam driven mills, the cotton industry in Gatehouse declined and by 1850 the mills were out of use. In 1859 they were bought by the Helme brothers from Dalbeattie and the upper mill was used to make wooden bobbins for the textile industry while this mill was used as a store and bark mill for the processing of oak for the leather tanning industry which was thriving in Gatehouse at the time. Source: History of the Mill

Art work on display
Art work on display

As well as a lovely tea room (and terrace), an information centre and a shop on the ground floor there is a bookshop and a permanent exhibition floor focusing on the history and heritage of Gatehouse, and exploring the Fleet Valley and surrounding areas, and on the top floor the Faed Gallery holds a programme of temporary exhibitions throughout the season.

More textiles
More textiles – and even more windows!

During our visit work by William Neal from his two current strands – Lyrical Abstraction and Iridescent Passages was on display. I have to say I was completely mesmerised by the way the light falling on the paintings changed with each angle you looked at them.



This weekly challenge is hosted by Dawn from ‘The Day After’ who invites participants to post pictures of any windows that  they find curious, inviting, photogenic, or in some way tell a story. Visit her blog to see more windows and/or to join in with the challenge.

Published by


I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

32 thoughts on “The Mill on the Fleet”

  1. Appreciate the tour Jude. I love the beautiful green looking out of these windows, surrounded by those unbelievably thick walls.

    1. It is a beautiful building – and a great tea-room – so many of these types of buildings have been converted into flats so it is nice to see one where you can still get a feel of the original space.,

  2. It is nice that a few mills have been kept to show a part of history. It is interesting to see the way they worked.

  3. Nice to see a well-preserved old mill Jude, and a good selection of shots to illustrate it too. I have seen those old bobbins sold as kitchen roll holders in places, making a nice adornment on someone’s worktop.
    Regards as always, Pete. x

  4. What a lovely mill and I love the textile and the paintings. Not to mention all the wonderful windows too I might add! I haven’t done any ‘windows’ for ages…but glad I still get to enjoy yours, thanks Jude 🙂

    1. I haven’t done ‘windows’ for a while either Sherri. Too busy holidaying 😉 I may see if there are prints of those paintings – though they won’t catch the light as well as the originals – but I may be able to afford one!

      1. You should, they are beautiful 🙂 I’ll be signing off in a day or two for a couple of weeks myself but will do a short post tomorrow about it. Will be in France for a week then catching up with some very badly neglected ‘other stuff’ when back. I’m not sure how I’ll cope being unplugged for one whole week, yikes! Still, has to be done…but I’ll see you before I leave 🙂

        1. Unplugged sounds good. Time to reconnect with real life. I spend far too much time in the blogosphere and not enough making friends in the real world. Have a good break Sherri 🙂

        2. Yes, I know what you mean, I wonder if I’ve got any friends left outside blogland!
          Thanks Jude, and I hope you have a good couple of weeks too 🙂 xx

  5. Those paintings look wonderful. My buying is limited by two things – lack of wall space, and lack of disposable $$$$! Windows are always great to look at – and through.

    The only water wheels I have seen are in Hama in Syria, and I suspect that they have disappeared now in the horrors of war.

    1. I love water wheels! And I love art – but being in rental accommodation I am reluctant to put anything on the walls. I really need my own space!

  6. I’ve neglected windows too 😦 Love these, Jude. I’ve been to Gatehouse of Fleet but don’t recollect the mill. I think we were just passing through on a rainy day. On the other hand this mill looks very like one I visited somewhere in Yorkshire. Dales area, maybe. I would frame those window shots, Jude. They’re great! 🙂

    1. You may recall more about it when I post my walk on Monday Jo 🙂
      But if you were driving along the A75 you wouldn’t actually go through the town (village? it is quite small). I like old mills – all that lovely floor space!

  7. Yet another fascinating visit for we antipodeans, Jude: dunno what I’d do without your posts for discovering things about England ! 🙂

    1. Er… well, this is (keep it quiet now) Scotland and they seem to want to detach themselves from Britain, apparently there is some sort of referendum in a couple of months time. 😉

Comments are closed.