Trottick Conservation Area content
Trottick Conservation Area is located to the immediate north of the Caird Park, just west of the Forfar Road. The area comprises the cottages of Trottick Mains, Mains Parish Church, the former Claverhouse bleachfield works on Claverhouse Road and the system of ponds, mill lades, dams and weirs, along the Dighty Water. The various buildings associated with the former bleachfield are listed as a Category 'A' group because, as a group, they are of special interest in our understanding of the important social and industrial history of the area. Many of the buildings are also of individual interest. The conservation area also protects a unique natural environment, where the disused industrial site has reverted to nature, leading to a diversity of habitats including woodland, meadow, running water, still water and marshland.
The combination of rows of workers' cottages, church, school and workplace was a new phenomenon in the late 18th century. The first phase of the industrial revolution involved creating water-powered sites and associated new communities, most famously at New Lanark. It was on this basis in Dundee that the city's dominance of the flat and then the jute industry was founded.
Bleaching was the last stage in the production of linen cloth, and the first to require the concentration of capital and labour at a time when most spinning and all weaving was by hand. Bleachfields required supplies of fresh water and open fields for layout out the cloth; most were therefore outwith the burgh boundaries. By 1790 there were nine bleachfield works on the Dighty alone. The settlement at Claverhouse and Trottick is important as the best preserved of all such communities near Dundee.
Claverhouse was once the largest Dundee bleachfield and it dates from the 1780s, when it was founded by Thomas Collier & Company. The most important are now the long beetling house range, the office range (with clock and bellcote to keep time) and the chimney. It passed through various owners and was last used for bleaching in the 1960s by Low and Bonar, finishing cloth woven by Baxter Brothers at Dens Works. Much of the site has now been converted to residential use, including new development.
The rows of single-storey stone cottages at Trottick Mains were originally thatched and were built in the 1790s for workers at the Trottick flax spinning mill. This early water-powered mill was superseded by the steam-powered mills of central Dundee and the cottages acquired by the bleachfield company. The larger cottage was likely a manager's house, as were the two near the bleachfield. Mains Parish Church is a simple galleried building of 1800-01, and it marks the south-west corner of the conservation area.