Provanmill

The below is taken from The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom by Alfred Barnard first published in 1887.

Provanmill Distillery, Willerston, Glasgow.

THIS Distillery (Provanmill) is situated a few miles north-east of the City of Glasgow, in the vicinity of what in the old coaching days was the high road between that city and Stirling. The district is not without its historical associations; Robroystone, the place where tradition gays that Sir William Wallace was captured, being within a mile of the Distillery; the village of Millerston, the postal town of the district, is within a short distance of the works.

The Distillery which lies in a hollow some few hundred yards from the high road, was built about the year 1815, and although small portions of the original buildings still remain, we fancy that the architect and builder, could they come to life again, would have some difficulty in recognising any of the original plans in the greatly altered and extended work which would meet their view. The Maltings, Mashing and Distillery Buildings, may be said to form three sides of a square, and are so arranged that the barley being put into the Steeps at one end, keeps continually moving forward through its various processes, until it emerges as Whisky at an almost corresponding point of the opposite side of the square. The work possesses all the most recent appliances and improvements for the production of pure malt Whisky, and has an abundant supply of water from three different sources, Hogganfield Loch, Loch Katrine, and from a copious spring upon the property. The arrangements are such that, on the same set of pipes may be turned any one of the three waters which all rise by gravitation to the highest part of the works. The Distillers, however, prefer the Hogganfield water for mashing, as from it they consider the best Whisky can be made; it is also a considerable auxiliary to the steam power in driving the machinery.

With regard to the buildings we may say that there is a large well ventilated Granary, connected with the Steeps by a gangway or bridge, so that they can be filled with ease and rapidity. The two Malt Houses or Barns are spacious and well suited to their purpose, being laid with a special composition, which has been found to be most satisfactory in producing first-rate malt; the Kiln, which is of recent construction, measures forty feet square. The floor of the Kiln is of wire cloth, and peat, which is brought from a long distance from a famed moss, rented by the proprietors, and burned in a chaffeur, is the only fuel used for drying purposes. The Malt Store and Mill Room are large and complete, being fitted with elevators and all the latest appliances. The Mash Tun, a cast iron vessel of 26 feet diameter and 7 feet 6 inches deep, is fitted with a patent Mashing Machine, and stirring gear of modern improvements. The underback, also of cast iron, has a capacity of some 3,000 gallons, and there are two coppers of a capacity of 12,000 gallons each. In addition to the coolers there are two large refrigerators, one by Morton and the other by Miller and Co. The wash-backs, eight in number, vary from a capacity of 3,000 to 12,000 gallons; the Wash charger having a capacity of 12,000 gallons. There are three pot Stills, two heated by fire and the other by steam, with chargers, receivers, worm tubs. The Spirit Store, in which is a commodious Spirit Vat, completes this portion of the works. There are eight Warehouses, capable of containing some 2,000 casks. The Distillery and Excise Offices are well fitted and of recent construction. The Excise Officers are Messrs. Jas. Bridgman and Danl. J. Hickey; there are in all, including clerks, about twenty hands.

The Caledonian Railway passes close by the works and is most convenient for the carrying of grain, fuel, &c., and the dispatch of the Whisky.

The annual output is about 130,000 gallons, and nothing but pure malt is used in the manufacture of the Whisky.