Mills of the Town
Gone but not Forgotten
Apart from one sorry remnant, all evidence of the factories generating Innerleithen’s once vibrant textile industry has completely vanished.
When it was constructed, the original five-floor block of Brodie’s Mill (later Caerlee Mill) was probably the earliest industrial textile unit of its type in the Scottish Borders. It was built between 1788 and 1790 at a cost of £3000 at the behest of Traquair-born entrepreneur and philanthropist Alexander Brodie to manufacture woollen cloth.
Brodie's Mill 2016
To begin with the enterprise was not a commercial success. This was due mainly to inexperienced management and a lack of skilled hands used to working in factory conditions.
Caerlee Mill c.1935
Waverley Mill c.1935
Unlike the other mills in Innerleithen, Waverley Mill was not dependent on “The Dam” (mill lade) for power or washing water. Pure clean water was drawn from an artesian well in the centre of the mill complex and stored in a special roof tank built over the engine shed. Steam was the source of power while coal provided the necessary heat.