MHG57471 - Mill, Horse engine platform and channel/possible tail-race, Achlorachan


Mill, Horse engine platform and channel/possible tail-race at Achlorachan

Type and Period (3)

  • WATERMILL (Post Medieval - 1560 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • TAIL RACE (Post Medieval - 1560 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • HORSE ENGINE (Post Medieval - 1560 AD? to 1900 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

These sites, recorded by NOSAS in 2007 as part of the Scotland's Rural Past Project, are in a sheltered SE facing position on the east bank of the Allt Ach’-Lorachain. A good track runs through the sites and to the SE there is an extensive area of improved land, 777. Adjacent and on the south side of the track there is an area of scattered stones, with access to the field being gained by a grassy track which runs through this. Also to the south of the track there is a deeply eroded channel which descends the grassy slope from NNW to SSE and several platforms which may have held buildings. A mill and sheepfold are on the north side of the track. Clearly the area has seen much activity over the last 200 years. On the old estate plans and also on a plan for a court case of 1835 it is refered to as a township. Several roofed buildings appear on the 1st edition OS survey of 1881, with one having the ground plan of the mill, the sheepfold however does not appear.

771 Mill - NH 32980 55229 A complex L shaped building of three working rooms, recessed into the slope with an external gangway, 2 - 2.5m in width, around the west and north sides. This gangway has a stone faced retaining wall to 1m height. The main part of the building, to the east, measures 8.6m x 4.5m internally and has 2 entrances in the S wall; both have substantial lintels. An aperture with the remains of slatted wooden vents is seen at the apex of the east gable. This may be a byre. To the front/south of this part of the building there is a rectangular concrete depression 6.8m x 6.2m and 0.3m deep with a possible entrance/step down into it on its north side. The purpose of this is unknown, but it may be a midden for horse manure or etc (as those found at Inverchoran and Corriefeol) The section of the mill to the SW is at right angles to the main part of the building; it measures 8.6m x 4.7m internally and appears to have been open at its SE end, although there may have been a wooden door. There is evidence of an entrance in the NW wall, although the majority of this wall has been levelled to the ground. At the south end of the SW wall there is a small aperture through the wall and on the outside the remains of two short timber posts. The working room in the angle measures 7m x 4.5m internally. It has two opposing entrances and three slit windows. To the rear of this room is the horse gang, 772.

772 Horse engine platform (Figures 11 and 12) - NH 32972 55239. A level circular platform, 6.5m in diameter, to the rear/north of the mill, 771, is recessed into the slope. The mechanism of the central iron turning disc (Figure 12), gearing and drive shaft is still in place and there is a (bent) rod, 3m in length with a hook on the end. The turning disc is 0.85m in diameter and has the words “Ben Reid, Bon Accord Works, Aberdeen” embossed around the edge. The drive shaft is still in place; it is 4.5m in length, and enters the building through a square aperture 0.15m width by 0.20m deep.

767 Channel/Possible Tail race - NH 32961 55198 (NNW end) A dry, deep, ditch has been scoured out of the slope to the south of the road; its upper end is just 30m to the SW of the mill. It is on a NNW-SSE axis and the main part is 50m in length. In the upper part it is 5m in width and 2m deep but lower down it narrows to 2-3m in width and 1m deep. At the south end it bifurcates into 2 smaller channels and at the north end there is a T junction with the cross “ditch” 4.5m in width and 20m in length, at its deepest this is 2m but it grades to zero at each end. The excavated material from this area appears to have been deposited to the SW where it makes the large earth bank which is a continuation of the stone wall, 766. The ditch may have been a tailrace for the mill just 30m to the NE. Although the remains of a horse gang were found behind the mill it is speculated that at one time, possibly even recently, the mill may have been water-powered. <1>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NH 3294 5521 (95m by 186m) (3 map features)
Map sheet NH35NW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish CONTIN

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

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