EHG5629 - Building surveys - John O'Groats Mill, Caithness



AOC Archaeology Group


Mar 2013


AOC Archaeology Group was commissioned by the Princes Regeneration Trust in association with the North Highland Initiative to undertake the first phase of works of a much wider vision for the future of the abandoned John O'Groats Mill on the north coast of Caithness. These works, undertaken between 4th-8th March 2013, included a a detailed measured survey of the mill; a general topographic site plan of the area including the mill pond and its associated waterways; a detailed written and photographic survey of the mill, the mill cottages and the abandoned cottages to the north-west, as well as the adjacent 17th century Cromwellian Bridge and an inventory of all the moveable artefacts inside the mill. The written record was made using AOC pro forma recording sheets, which included comment on condition, construction, architectural style and detail, openings, evidence for phasing and function and anything else pertinent to the historical record of the building and its history and development. To accompany the written record, a general and detailed photographic record was made of the main buildings and structures, and the interior of the mill, in black and white print and colour digital using a 35mm SLR and digital SLR respectively. General shots of all the buildings/structures were made in addition to more detailed shots of specific features such as phase lines, blocked openings, doors, windows, machinery, etc. A measured survey was made of the site and the mill building using a 3D Trimble laser scanner, which included exterior elevations of the mill, exterior elevations of the Cromwellian bridge, north and south faces, ground floor and second floor plan of the kiln and a general topographic survey, including site plan of the immediate landcape around the mill. In addition, a detailed survey was made of the mill pond and its associated waterways using a robotic total station tied into the main control survey. A floor plan record and east/west section was made by hand of the mill building (all three floors) with the exception of the aforementioned kiln plans. They were undertaken at a scale of 1:50 and include all wall lines, openings, blocked openings, main elements of the fixed mill structures and machinery (with the exception of the machinery and gearing cupboard on the ground floor), other features such as holes in the floors, trap doors, structural beams, etc, and anything else pertinent to the historical record. In addition, the position of the artefacts was plotted on all the floor plans and labelled. An inventory of the artefacts held within the mill building was undertaken to identify their quantity and extent. Each item - or group of items - was given a unique identifying number related to their floor level. A pro forma sheet was filled in identifying the condition, material, dimensions (where this could be ascertained or was not an onerous task for groups of items) and general information and interpretation. This was accompanied by a digital photograph and each artefact/group of artefacts was labelled on site. <1>

Sources/Archives (1)



Location John O'Groats Mill, Caithness
Grid reference Centred ND 3717 7333 (71m by 87m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND37SE
Civil Parish CANISBAY
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Related Monuments/Buildings (8)

  • Bridge - John O'Groats Mill (Monument)
  • Cottage and/or barn - NW of John O'Groats Mill (Building)
  • Former threshing Mill - John O'Groats (Building)
  • Former workshop and stable - John O'Groats Mill (Building)
  • John O'Groats Mill (Building)
  • Mill Cottage - John O'Groats (Building)
  • Mill dam and pond - John O'Groats Mill (Monument)
  • Mill lade - John O'Groats Mill (Monument)

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Mar 18 2022 4:29PM

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