MHG47076 - Former workshop and stable - John O'Groats Mill


No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

  • STABLE (19th Century to 20th Century - 1845 AD? to 1901 AD?)
  • WORKSHOP (19th Century to 20th Century - 1845 AD? to 1901 AD?)

Protected Status

Full Description

An at least partially early-mid C19 former stable, workshop and cottage at John O'Groat's Mill, Caithness. Now converted to domestic use/holiday let.

The building was listed at Category B as part of the mill complex in 1984.

(Location cited as ND 372 733). John O' Groats Mills. The larger mill, built in 1750 and rebuilt in 1901, is a handsome 3-storey rubble building, on an L plan, with a double kiln. The machinery is driven by an 8-spoke overshot wood and iron wheel, 4ft 3ins (1.3m) wide by 13ft (3.96m) diameter. Nearby is a smaller mill (ND37SE 44.00) with a similar wheel, 2ft 10ins (0.86m) wide by 12ft (3.66m) diameter. <1>

In 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. These works, undertaken between 4th-8th March and 14th March, included: a desk-based assessment and walkover survey of the land within the ownership of the mill owner; 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; an inventory of all the moveable artefacts inside the mill and a geophysical survey on the ground surrounding the mill (carried out by Rose Geophysical Consultants).

The date of the construction for the southern mill cottage is unclear, as a different layout of the building is seen on the 1877 map as to the present arrangement seen on the 1907 map; the earlier map shows the cottage to be slightly off-set to the east and on a different alignment. Hence, if the maps are correct, this present building is much later than the northern one (ie, built some time between 1877 - 1907 and see MHG19664). The cottage is a two-bay two-storey building with a pitched roof and an additional barn (now a garage) to the north with a hipped roof, all Caithness flag. The build looks contemporary between the two different sides of the building, although one large stone indicates that it may have been a former quoin, and therefore the 'garage' to the north could have been added later. There also seems to be slightly less weathering on the stonework of this northern block. The main entrance is to the north bay of the main cottage with a loading bay above it with a triangular head. The southernmost bay has a window to the ground floor and a stouter one to the first.

It was recommended that the next phase of works centre on excavations to the area to the west of the mill in conjunction with a general cleaning up of the area of the bridge in conjunction with the conservation plans of the mill. In addition, a closer examination of the artefacts within the mill has provided a general strategy for conservation and display. There is a huge scope for future community involvement in both these stages of the process, including visits, open days and oral history projects. <1>

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred ND 37171 73308 (11m by 26m)
Map sheet ND37SE
Civil Parish CANISBAY
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (2)

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