The Distilleries of Great Britain & Ireland; Glen Mhor from the Caledonian Canal


Whisky enthusiasts may remember the interest surrounding James Eadie's The Distilleries of Great Britain & Ireland upon its release last year. 

I attempted to identify some of the individuals in the still room image by piecing together the clues from the Glen Mhor article and the information available to us, although I did this from a pre-release PDF rather than a hardcopy of the book. The published synopsis was fun to work on and gave us new insight into the distillery at this time.

Imagine my surprise, having purchased the book shortly later, that were was a third image which I'm bringing to you now. A little overdue I know and my apologies. 

The original article was published on 24th November 1924, which gives us a timeframe around when the images were taken. As highlighted by Leon Kuebler in the introduction, the authors and photographers behind these articles remain unidentified, resulting in complete anonymity of the work.

Regulars will know that I have been searching for many years for a copy of 'Pictures of Inverness: A Peep Into Glen Mhor', a promotional pamphlet financed by the owners and featuring the work of Alfred Barnard.

Published in 1897, it has thus far evaded my efforts, though I do contemplate whether I am curious as to whether the text and images were reused by their owners for future publicity, be it in a similar article or in the 1898 supplement to the Distillers' and Brewers' Magazine. It would make sense having paid a good sum for such an accomplished writer, to showcase the work across a more widespread level.

It may be challenging to verify, but the rise of AI software makes it feasible to input authenticated samples of Alfred's work as a means of contrasting them with those from uncredited authors in order to detect the possibility of similarities. Needless to say, this exercise isn't a priority, but I will keep it in mind until we locate a copy of the pamphlet. 

In the meantime, turning our attention back to this image. We observe the nursery area located in front of the initial warehouse roof, devoid of any inscriptions. So, it is evident that we are after 1895 as the warehouse extends across the entire width of the site and the roof wording is missing. My research demonstrates that this expansion, which effectively provided us with warehouses 1 and 2, was scheduled and accomplished shortly after 1895. We can also see from an overhead image dating from 8th August 1928, that the nursery land was still intact at this time. 

It is a challenge to determine the timeframe of the photograph without referencing the structures in and around Glen Albyn in the distance and their timeline. This aspect requires consideration in the future.

However, the text provides insight into the proposed changes, with reference to the relocation of the malt bins and the planned demolition of the current distillery offices, to be replaced by new buildings near the distillery's entrance.

This vision aligns with the approved plans for new offices on 7th October 1924. So, even if the text resembles a functional Alfred Barnard style with similar details, it should be noted that he passed away in 1918. Thereby restricting my theory solely to the previously mentioned 1898 magazine supplement. Unless inserted or edited, he would not have known of any future works, meaning that it is highly probable that this Glen Mhor article was written in 1923 or 1924 and the images come from the same period.

Meanwhile, James Eadie has published a new work, based on their research and giving us into the Distillation of Whisky in the 1920s. It'll be my present later this month and I look forward to referring to it on a regular basis, as the Glen Mhor research takes us into 2024.