One of a kind Caithness mill to be restored to full working order
August 3 2022
John O'Groats Mill Trust has won planning consent to proceed with the alteration and extension of a B-listed Caithness mill to serve as a tourism destination.
The Highland Council green light clears the way for McGregorBowes to proceed with a major programme of renovations and additions to the 18th-century threshing and corn mill, notable for having retained its kiln and inner workings in near working order.
Adopting a 'conserve as found' ethos to the project the works will adopt a hands-off approach to the main mill standing above the Burn of Duncansby with interventions limited to improving access. Working with conservation architect Ian Parsons the team will leave surviving machinery unaltered and in good working order, retaining all plastered walls, timber and stored equipment.
Interventions will be limited to the demolition of a mid-20th century shed and concessions to the interior fabric to permit the installation of an interior lift. This will be joined by a detached cafe extension dug into the landscape under a green roof.
Considered to be the last water-powered grain mill to be built in Scotland the conservation-led effort dovetails with moves to introduce a cafe, craft workshop and events space to give the mill a new lease of life as a community asset.
The project team includes Bright as interpretation designers as well as the Torrance Partnership, David Narro Associates and Rybka.
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