This is one of those places that I’ve known about for ages, but I always seemed to be passing on a weekday when the site was busy – so, hearing that demolition was imminent, I headed out before dawn on Easter Sunday to finally have a look around.
Paper mills have been sited on the River Carron for over 200 years, and two earlier mills at Carrongrove dated back to at least 1840. I’m not sure when the latest mill dated from, but some construction pictures date from 1910. The mill was bought by Inveresk (owners of Caldwell’s Mill in Inverkeithing, previously reported on) in 1924, but it was caught up in the same downturn in the paper market, and closed at the end of 2005.
A planning proposal was submitted in 2006 to demolish the mill and built a housing development, and the mill itself is now all gone. What remains is the power station – a paper mill requires as much power as a small town, so a two-boiler coal-fired power station was built on the site. It’s a lovely little power station, quite home-made in places compared to a big power station like Inverkip, but that adds to the charm.
This is the view from outside:
Inside, one of the boilers:
The chimney, unusually, is situated right between the boilers, in the middle of the building:
Behind the boilers is the coal pit and the grab crane for loading coal into the furnaces:
The view from the crane cab looks down into the pit:
Back inside, a panorama of the top floor – the door on the left is the door to the grab crane walkway, the chimney is in the centre and boilers to either side:
On the main level, the control panels:
The back of the boilers:
A final message:
A big wall-mounted gauge:
Around the back, the generators are gone from the generator house, but the manually-operated 15-ton cranes remain:
And the coal pit is empty:
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