- STANLEY, a manufacturing village, and lately a quoad sacra parish, partly in the parish of Redgorton, but chiefly in that of Auchtergaven, county of Perth, 2 miles (E. S. E.) from the village of Auchtergaven; containing 1945 inhabitants. This place, which takes its name from an ancient mansion, once the family seat of the Nairnes, and now the residence of George Buchanan, Esq., is pleasantly situated on the banks of the river Tay, and owes its origin entirely to the establishment of the cotton-works in its immediate neighbourhood. Previously to the establishment of these works in 1785, the place consisted only of one solitary dwelling, called the Gate House from its having been the lodge of Stanley House; but since the introduction of the manufacture, the village has progressively increased in population and extent, and is become a flourishing town. The houses are neatly built, and the inhabitants are amply supplied with water. A subscription library has been established, which has a well-selected collection of nearly 600 volumes of useful works on general literature. The surrounding scenery is pleasingly diversified, and in many parts enriched with stately timber and thriving plantations of more recent growth. The inhabitants are, of course, chiefly employed in the cotton-works adjoining; and with a view to encourage habits of frugality, and prudent provision for old age, a savings' bank was opened here by a few persons connected with the works: this at first met with comparatively little encouragement, but the amount of deposits is now very considerable. The mills are situated at a short distance from the village, and were erected in 1785, by Messrs. Dempster and Company, who in 1800 sold the concern to Messrs. Craig and Co., by whom the mills were carried on till the year 1814, when they were discontinued. They were subsequently purchased by Messrs. Buchanan and Company, the present proprietors, under whose superintendence they have been so greatly increased and improved that they are at present among the most extensive of the kind in the country. The machinery is propelled by water, brought from the Tay by an aqueduct 800 feet in length, ten feet high, and eight feet in breadth, carried through a hill 150 feet high, of which the superincumbent stratum is supported on arches. The water has a fall of twenty-two feet, and gives motion to seven wheels of large diameter, whose aggregate power is equal to 200 horses. The works contain 40,000 spindles and 212 power-looms, and afford employment to 900 persons; they are carried on with liberality, and confer great benefit on the population of the district in which they are situated. There is a ferry across the Tay at this place, and the village has every facility of communication with the neighbouring towns by means of the high road from Edinburgh, and with the other portions of the parish by good roads kept in repair by statute labour.The proprietors of the mills have erected a handsome chapel of ease at an expense of upwards of £3000, for the accommodation of the inhabitants of the village and the district around; it stands on the verge of the parish, and is a spacious and elegant structure with a tower, and adapted for a congregation of 1150 persons. The minister has a stipend of £150 per annum, with a house and garden provided for him rent-free by the proprietors. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship. The company have also erected a spacious school for the instruction of the children employed in their works, whose hours of labour are so regulated as to afford them the full benefit of the institution; the master has a salary of £20, paid by the company, and about 100 children on an average attend. A benevolent society has been established for the assistance of the poor, and is supported by voluntary subscription; the annual distribution averages £60. A funeral society has been also established, besides an educational society for assisting poor people to the school fees necessary for the education of their children. Stanley House, for many ages the seat of the Nairne family, has apparently been built at different periods; its present name is of comparatively modern date, having been given to it towards the close of the 17th century, after the union of the families of Atholl and Nairne, in honour of a marchioness of Atholl who was the daughter of James Stanley, Earl of Derby. It has been modernised and improved, and is now a spacious and elegant mansion, beautifully situated on the margin of the river Tay, in a demesne in which are some stately trees; upon the lawn near the house are two remarkably fine yews, and some beech trees of luxuriant growth. On the banks of the Tay, near the village, are the ruins of a religious house which was connected with the celebrated abbey of Dunfermline.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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