West Mill Street

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Mercure Perth Hotel star rating

Mercure Perth Hotel

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The History of the City Mills

The history of the City Mills dates back to the 10th century with the city lade; the source of the water that you can see today flowing through the hotel. There is evidence that suggests that it pre-dates the reign of Malcolm Canmore, who famously deposed Macbeth and married Saint Margaret ofScotland.


The lade supplied the motive power to the mills. A man made waterway, it flows from the River Almond at Almondbank, north of the city, a distance of around four and a half miles before emptying into the River Tay just below the "Old Bridge".


Legend has it that the lade was dug in one night by the military and was therefore named the "King's Lade". What is known is that it was part of the defences of the medieval city ofPerth.


Below the Lower City Mills, currently occupied by the Tourist Information Bureau, the lade originally split in two with one branch following the line of the modern South Methven Street, Canal Crescent and Canal Street. This branch silted up regularly and fell out of use in the 19th century. The other branch currently flows underneathMill Street. It still can be seen at the end of Skinnergate, one ofPerth's oldest streets. Nearby, in Albert Close, stands the last remnant of the old city wall.


The first mill on this site appeared around the beginning of the 12th century. They were apparently gifted to the crown in the following century but in 1375, by Feu Charter, the mills were given to the people of the city by King Robert the Third, and they were renamed "The City Mills".


The area to the west of the lade housed flour, meal and barley mills, kilns and a granary and an oil mill.  Together, with ownership of the waterfall at Tulloch, all provided an important part of the Burgh revenues.


Throughout the centuries the Mills suffered quite a few fires but each time the town rebuilt them. The last, indeed the only, record of repairs to the Mills was in 1879 the cost being £11.00. In the twentieth century they fell into disuse, finally closing in the 1930s.


In the 1970s the derelict building was developed as a hotel with help from the Civic Trust scheme. The award winning conversion has retained many of the features of the old mill. Guests can follow the flow of water through the Hotel as it splits to power the wheel opposite Reception then joins and splits again in The Lounge Bar where the oldest parts of the structure can be viewed through one of the viewing ports.


Another feature highlighted by the conversion is the magnificent King Pin Roof in the Kinnoull Suite, the hotel’s main function suite. This is believed to be one of only a very few built in this particular manner and still left in existence.


The Kinnoull Suite is also the haunt of the Hotel's resident ghost, The Green Lady. Supposedly she was a miller’s daughter who hung herself from the rafters for the sake of love.


We hope that you, our guests and visitors enjoy our unique hotel.