short history of Stanley
Stanley a Perthshire
village is in Auchtergaven, Kinclaven and Redgorton parishes, on the right
bank of the winding Tay. Auchtergaven and Redgorton Parishes are
divided by the burn at the bottom of the Airntully road that runs down the west side
of Perth Road and is piped over the railway line at the end of James
Street and flows underneath the village green to the Well Brae. A
small area of the Parish of Kinclaven is at the north end of the
Stanley owes its origin to extensive cotton mills
erected in 1785 by Sir Richard Arkwright (1732-1793). It is recorded in
1784 ground was feued at Stanley from the Duke of Atholl to build a mill
for spinning cotton and soon after a village was erected upon a regular
plan for accommodating the people to be employed in the Mill. At
that time only a few families dwelt near Stanley and excepting the land
within the enclosures of Stanley House (Built by Lord Nairn) most of the
area was almost in a state of nature. The turnpike road from Perth
to Dunkeld was just then completed, the cross-country roads or paths
being excessively bad and in winter almost impassable.
The first place is given to Stanley Cotton Mills consisting of spinning
and weaving mills propelled by seven water wheels equal to 200 HP, the
fall of water being 16 feet and the water supply being so abundant on
occasions as to stop the Works. Work at the Cotton Mills began at
half past five in the mornings and ended at seven in the evenings with
the intermission of an hour and a half for meals. On Saturday work
ended at three o'clock in the afternoons. Children began work at
quarter-to-ten in the mornings and ended at three o'clock in the
afternoons that they may then attend school.
Soon after the erection of the Cotton Mills the Company employed a
Preacher to do duty on Sundays in the School House. In 1828 the
Proprietors of the Mill petitioned for a Church built for more than
£3000 standing within the verge of the parish of Redgorton; an
elegant building surmounted by a tower 85 feet high with sittings for
1150 persons. The Company provided the Minister with a house and a
garden in addition to a stipend of £150. There is a Sabbath
School attended by between three or four hundred of the young people.
The Tower Church was raised to quoad sacra status
The Stanley Company maintains a large School at their own expense
providing a Teacher with a house and garden and a salary of £20 per
annum, besides furnishing a spacious School Room.
INSTITUTIONS The Benevolent Society of Stanley was instituted
in 1831 for the purpose of assisting poor people and is supported by
voluntary contributions. The total disbursement then was
approximately £60 per annum averaging about one shilling per
week. Coal, clothes, food and medicines are given to the
necessitous according to circumstances.
Police of Stanley are very efficient and ill-behaved persons when found
out are forthwith discharged from the Mill. By this means there is
not a more orderly or a more respectable manufacturing population in the
Empire than the inhabitants of Stanley.
THE QUEEN's VISIT AND
OTHER POEMS The Queen's visit refers to the era of Queen
Victoria and Prince Albert in 1842. An Arch was erected for the
occasion at the junction of the Stanley and Dunkeld roads by the
Proprietors of Stanley Mills. 2000 of the villagers walked down in
a Procession to the Arch and two Bands of Music belonging to the village
accompanied them to view the Royal cortege.
The Thistle Brig, a
short distance below Stanley consists of a trap dyke crossing the Tay
and said to have at one time spanned the river with its gigantic basaltic
columns providing suitable supports for a "brig of
tree". By this route the Danes were crossing the Tay before
the Battle of Luncarty and one of their number is said to have trampled
on a Scottish thistle, cried out and betrayed their approach to the
bridge sentinels. This incident gave rise to the adoption of the thistle
as the badge of Scotland. The basaltic columns were removed in
modern times (written mid 19th century) to enable rafts of wood to get
down the river - an unhappy end to the legend.
Stanley House* to the east of the village was an ancient mansion dating from
the first half of the 15th century. It was once a seat of the Lords
Nairne and has memories of the Jacobite third lord who escaped from its
dining room after the '45 rebellion. (See the Stanley Steeple Poem for
more information on the Poems page).
* So named about the
beginning of the 18th century after Lady Amelia Sophia Stanley, daughter of
the Earl and the famous Countess of Derby, and herself Marchioness of Athole.
Her fourth son Lord William Murray in 1683 succeeded his father in law as the
second Lord Nairne (note the difference in spelling in Athole and Nairne).
There is also a Stanley in
Co Durham; Derby;
Yorkshire; Falkland Islands and