Dundee’s Art Deco Heritage 5. Lilybank Mews.

Since my younger son is now living in Dundee I’ve become even more acquainted with that city. This building is quite close to his flat and I came across it as I was making my way home after moving him in. Next time I took the camera but it was getting late and quite dark when these pictures were taken.

Lilybank Mews

This is a stitch of three photos I took of this building which is situated on the corner of Arbroath Road, Dundee.

Here is a close up of the central entrance.

Lilybank Mews Centre Entranceway

There is interplay between horizontal and vertical so typical of Deco buildings but not much by way of extravagant flourish.

I thought it must have been a mill at one time. It had obviously recently been converted to flats, though.

I’ve just discovered it was formerly known as Lilybank Works and the “distinctive chamfered corner and recessed entrance” dates from 1949, very late for Deco styling.

Also called the Taybank Works it was the last of Dundee’s jute mills. There is a photo here of the building still sporting a Tay Spinners Ltd sign. The new Taybank works apparently replaced Lilybank Foundry after the Second World War.

Of the jam, jute and journalism, for which Dundee used to be famed, what is there now left?

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4 comments

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  1. Art Deco Buildings Blog

    A great example of late deco. You’ve pointed out lack of extravagant decoration which occured as the style changed from its emergence in the early part of the century through to the second world war and beyond.

    I’m enjoying dipping into Scotland’s Art Deco Heritage with your posts. It is great to see such fine examples in Scotland.

    Cheers,
    David

  2. MAGS

    I USED TO SWING ON THE FABULOUS METAL SHUTTER THAT STRETCHED THE WHOLE WIDTH OF THE ENTRANCE WHEN IT CLOSED IN THE EVENING. (1949) ERA

  3. C B Yates, BA, BD, PhD., S.Th.

    I remeember this building being built to replace an earlier jute works. It was to be a source of employment for many post-war, but the days of jute were limited and slowly Dundee “died”.
    This factory switched production to the “new” man-made fibres and had a refreshed existence for a few more years.
    I also remember all the young women rushing to work when the “bummers”(hooters) sounded about 5 minutes before the shift started. Some of them left their children at the Nursery which was built in Thornbamk street in the later war-years. A feature I always remeber was the knotted head scarves which were used functionally to protect their hair when working with machinery as Health and Safety was a remote thought in these days. This is written as written witness to these days from 1940s to the 1950s. Fortuntely, i now live in a countr
    [ NZ ]y where there are no tenements or “High-Landies” and every street corner had its own Pub.

  4. jackdeighton

    C B Yates,
    It’s sad all those jobs went.
    It already had Captain Scott’s ship “Discovery” and a Science Centre but Dundee is trying to regenerate itself with a “waterfront project” spearheaded by the new V&A Museum building well on the way to completion. I doubt it will do for Dundee what the Guggenheim did for Bilbao but you never know.
    Thanks for looking in and commenting.

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