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Page 8

Newsletter 115, Winter 2016  © Hampshire Mills Group

 

Award for Knockando Woolmill

Pam Moore

In August, the Knockando woollen mill near Elgin, Morayshire, held a ceremony to mark the winning by the mill of a Europa Nostra Award. 

 

Knockando, a Grade A Listed site in the Spey Valley, has been continuously in production since 1784, when Parish records refer to it as the “Wauk Mill”, with much of its machinery dating from that time.  Set in beautiful countryside, it produces fine cloth, much of which is exported, including to the Far East.

Although the historic machinery can be seen, quite a lot of production is now done on more modern looms in a converted building adjacent to the historic mill.  Visitors can see the restored overshot waterwheel, the spinning mules and traditional looms and other processes such as carding taking place.  

By the Millennium, Knockando was facing hard times and many similar mills had closed.  Knockando Woolmill Trust, formed in 2000, raised the £3.5 million needed to restore the buildings and machinery.  This work was completed in 2014.  The Trust now owns the mill building, leasing the rest of the site from Knockando Estate and has opened it to the public.

Europa Nostra was impressed by both the mill itself and also the Craft Training workshop formed to enable the passing on of traditional skills to young people.  The citation commented that “The Knockando Woolmill is special due to its continuous unbroken production of textiles over the last 200 years.  This is exceptional in Europe and the survival of this type of local production is rare.” 

See www.knockandowoolmill.org.uk for more information.

 

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