Tower Mill

Buildings, Historic Buildings, Monuments & Statues, Museums & Exhibitions
Hawick’s premier entertainment venue, this disused spinning mill, features a 14-foot high Victorian waterwheel, thought to be the oldest in Southern Scotland.

About Tower Mill

As you approach Tower Mill (known as Elliot’s Mill), you'll have a clear view of the arch supporting this impressive mill which was built in I852 and spans the Slitrig Water. The Auld Brig which previously spanned the Slitrig here is thought to have been built in the I3th century and was a narrow, two-span structure. The parapets and east side of the bridge were washed away in a spectacular flood in August l767 when the Slitnig rose65m (22 feet) in just two hours.
The parochial school, the corn mill, and 15 houses - complete with two inhabitants – were carried away by the waters. The damage was extensive, but there was miraculously no loss of life with those washed away being dragged half-drowned from the Teviot. The Slitrig Water has broken its banks many times over the years – a plaque on the side of the Drumlanrig’s Tower is roughly 1.5m (5ft) above the pavement level and marks the height of the flood of 1846.
After 600 years of service the Auld Brig was demolished in 1851 at the expense of hosiery manufacturer William Elliot, who erected his mill on the site to replace an earlier mill which occupied just one side of the river.
Perhaps in remorse for the destruction of the ancient bridge the Town Council offered a silver medal for a commemorative poem about the Auld Brig, which was won by a Miss Agnes Douglas.

Initially, the Tower Mill was powered by a waterwheel, but a Lancashire boiler was added in the 1860s as the water flow was insufficient in the summer months when the water was low. The waterwheel was connected up to an electric generator in 1900 to supply electricity to the owner's house in Buccleuch Street.

Tower Mill is a focal point for the ‘Heart of Hawick' project, a £10 million-plus redevelopment of the Mill and the old Corn Exchange buildings, plus improvements to Drumlanrig's Tower, the town centre and a new foot/cycle bridge over the River Teviot. Tower Mill provides access to a theatre/cinema, exhibition space, a visitor information centre and a café/ bar, as well as workshops for arts and media businesses.

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