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Netherplace opened around 1795, originally as a bleachfield.  It combined later with the Tofts works, specialising in bleaching, dying and printing. Tofts works was demolished in 1930. By 1861,  Netherplace employed 400 people. The works pond dates from 1850 - 1860. It can still be seen, often with swans, today.


Netherplace was owned by John Wallace who lived in Netherplace Cottage which sits near by. It is pictured below as it is today . His sister Agnes lived in Netherplace House which is across the road. John Wallace died in 1891 but Wallace and Company  was to last for almost a hundred years after his death as part of the large Manchester based calico printers association.


The growth of the lace factories of the Irvine valley helped Wallace and Company  to flourish as lace finishing became a major part of their business.

Companies such as Morton, Young and Borland of Newmilns supplied the raw lace or grey material for finishing. At the end of the 19th century production was booming at Netherplace and a small community was established.

In later years a modern terylene processing plant was installed to handle finishing of the new synthetic products. This picture shows Jim Carvel at Wallace & Company, Netherplace with a 250 yard bale of terylene. This picture was taken in the 1950s.


The majority of the work force came from the Mearns area but a significant number came from the Highlands and Ireland to work in the mills. Many of them were women and accommodation was provided for them in the “woman house”. In 1861 there were sixty nine boarders. The woman house is the three storey building. And the other houses were known as the low row. These were homes for workers with families. Netherplace House is in the background.


The High Row at Netherplace was home to some of the workers and their families.


The works closed in 1980 and lay empty for several years. In 1986, they were re-opened by the English Sewing Company Limited as a modern dye works.  In 1993, there was another change of ownership when Coats Barbour Limited took over and used the works as the base for their UK operations division engaged in processing industrial sewing thread. This work was relocated to another of their mills around ten years later and for the first time in over two hundred years, Netherplace no longer processes cloth or thread. At present, part of the site is used as a storage facility and the rest is for sale.




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