East Linton, Preston Mill

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Alternative Names River Tyne
Canmore ID 56219
Site Number NT57NE 20
NGR NT 59480 77882
Former Region LOTHIAN
Former District EAST LOTHIAN
Former County EAST LOTHIAN
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Archaeological Notes

NT57NE 20.00 59480 77882

(NT 5948 7787) Preston Mill (NR) (NTS)
OS 6" map (1968)

NT57NE 20.01 NT 59374 77819 to NT 59656 77898 Mill-lade and tail-race
NT57NE 20.02 NT 59360 77794 Weir

For adjacent Preston Mill Cottage, see also NT57NE 49.

Preston Mill is a plain rectangular building of mortared masonry with a pantiled roof. The mill has been driven by an undershot wheel. The present wheel is of iron with wooden paddles and measures 3.4m in diameter. To the N of the mill and joined to it by an overhead wooden foot bridge is the kiln. It is a circular building with a conical pantiled roof and has an outside stone stairway leading to the upper storey. The kiln is supported by buttresses and several small buildings are attached to its perimeter. To the E of the kiln is a rectangular L-shaped outbuilding with a pantiled roof.
A plaque on the W wall of the mill states that the mill was presented to the National Trust for Scotland in January 1950 by the trustees of the late John R Gray. The property is in fair condition.
Visited by OS (WDJ) 20 October 1962.

(Location cited as NT 595 779). Preston Mill, 17th century. A one-storey and attic rubble range with a circular kiln. There is a detached single-storey office and granary block. All the buildings have pantiled roofs. There is a 6-spoke, wood and iron low-breast wheel driving two pairs of stones. Restored and opened to the public by the National Trust for Scotland.
J R Hume 1976.

Grain has been milled on this site since the 12th century. A substantial part of the existing fabric dates from the 17th century; it was extensively renovated in 1760. The mill is still functional, and open to the public.
R Prentice 1976; J R Hume 1976; C McWilliam 1978.

Preston Mill is situated on the N bank of the River Tyne to the NE of the village of East Linton (NT57NE 78). It is a major property of the National Trust for Scotland, and is well publicised as such. Houston Mill (NS57NE 193.00) is on the S bank, almost opposite.
Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 2 March 2006.


Project Civil Engineering heritage: Scotland - Lowlands and Borders

Notes Building shows evidence of renovations with timber work from c.1660.

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Notes Extensive renovations circa 1760.

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Notes Machinery renovated prior to handing over to the National Trust for Scotland

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Notes This project was undertaken to input site information listed in 'Civil engineering heritage: Scotland - Lowlands and Borders' by R Paxton and J Shipway, 2007.

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Project Civil Engineering heritage: Scotland - Lowlands and Borders

Notes The mill is a rectangular masonry building with pantile roof containing millwork driven by an undershot waterwheel. The iron wheel of about 11 ft diameter with wooden paddles can, on request, still operate much of
the, probably, early-20th century machinery, including a small Archimedes screw. Adjoining, over a timber
bridge, is an early circular masonry, buttressed, drying kiln with conical pantile roof and rotating ventilator and
wind vane. Substantial elements of the buildings, including some timberwork, date from 1660, or earlier, with extensive renovation in ca.1760. The mill ceased to operate commercially in 1950 when it was given to the National Trust for whom Joseph Rank restored the machinery to working order. The mill is now a significant visitor attraction. Nearby is Houston Mill where Andrew Meikle, inventor of the corn threshing machine, who probably advised on Preston Mill millwork, was the millwright and with whom the young John Rennie spent an invaluable apprenticeship. In 1772 Meikle invented the ‘spring’ sail for windmills using louvred shutters.
Meikle’s finely executed gravestone of 1811 near the parish church door, not far from George Rennie’s, describes him as a ‘Civil Engineer’.

R Paxton and J Shipway 2007

Reproduced from 'Civil Engineering heritage: Scotland - Lowlands and Border' with kind permission of Thomas Telford Publishers.

Further details

External Links

East Lothian Historic Environment Record

Books and References

Baldwin, J (1997) Edinburgh, Lothians and the Borders, Exploring Scotland's Heritage series Edinburgh
Page(s): 86-7 No. 24 Held at RCAHMS A.1.4.HER

Baldwin, J R (1985) Exploring Scotland's heritage: Lothian and the Borders, Exploring Scotland's heritage series Edinburgh
Page(s): 49-50, no. 19 Held at RCAHMS A.1.4.HER

Butt, J (1967) The industrial archaeology of Scotland, The industrial archaeology of the British Isles series Newton Abbot
Page(s): 39-40, 254 Held at RCAHMS J.4.11.BUT

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