MHG54963 - Mill dam and lade, Balnacarn


Remains of a drystone dam, sluice and lade for a presumed former water mill.

Type and Period (3)

  • MILL DAM (19th Century - 1801 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • LADE (19th Century - 1801 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • SLUICE (19th Century - 1801 AD? to 1900 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Turf- and grass-covered remains of a drystone dam, sluice and lade for a water mill no longer visible, situated on south-facing slope from 138m OD at dam to 130m OD at end of lade.
Dam: well-built and revetted into earth mound (8m long, 1-2m wide, 1m high) to west side of sluice; rubble construction (4.5m long, 1m wide, 0.5-1.0m high) abutting hillslope to east side of sluice;
Sluice: 0.7m wide up to 1m high between dressed stone blocks, and slabbed base;
Lade, orientated N-S approximately 0.6m wide: dugout remains of lade begins approximately 15m to the north of the sluice, after passing through stone built sluice it runs through stone and earth mound approx. 49m to above-ground drystone lade 17m long.
The site is fully described and illustrated in the linked survey report. <1>

This feature was largely safeguarded during construction work for the new hydro scheme. Removal of the retaining wall immediately to the south failed to find any evidence of a wheel pit or other related features, either extant or backfilled. Neither did the steading buildings show any evidence of such features. The southern end of the lade is roughly built with local freestone and surfaced with concrete, similar to the silage pit to the east. It is suggested that the feature dates to the 20th century and was never completed. <2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NH 2734 1322 (35m by 82m) (4 map features)
Map sheet NH21SE
Geographical Area INVERNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (2)

External Links (0)

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