Auchincloch Mill

The corn mill at Auchincloch (sometimes spelled Auchencloch) is mentioned in the Register of the Great Seal in 1542 in connection with William Sinclair.  A reference from 1559 informs us that the lands- and hence the mill – of Auchincloch were divided into two.  One half belonged to Robert Graham and remained in his family into the early twentieth century when the last male descendant was gored by one of his own bulls.  The Livingstons of Linlithgow and then the Livingstons of Kilsyth were the superiors but the mill lay within the barony of Herbertshire as indicated in a Precept of Clare Constat by Alexander, Lord Livingstone, in favour of Cristina Grahame, sister of the deceased Robert Grahame of Auchencloich, dated 27 February 1600,

of all and whole the half of all and singular the Lands and mill of Auchincloche Mill, Lands and Multures thereto effeiring, with the fortalice, Manor Place, houses, biggings, yards, and others thereto pertaining, lying within the Barony of Herbertshire”. 

That this was a baronial mill with a sucken is made clear in a charter of alienation of 1614 when Robert Graham handed over his part of Auchincloch to William Graham:

and the said Robert binds himself to infeft and seize the said William and his foresaids in all and whole that part of the said lands of Auchencloch, presently occupied and possessed by him with service to the said Mill

(Graham 1895).
Illus 1: 1896/98 Ordnance Survey Map (National Library of Scotland).

In the mid-nineteenth century a separate black mill was added.  A problem arose over the supply of water.  Upstream from the mill David Bennie, the tenant of Meadowside Farm which belonged to Carron Company, was using water from the stream to irrigate his land.   James Graham of Auchincloch took Bennie and the Carron Company to court in 1896 to enforce his undoubted right and title to have the water of the stream known as Auchincloch Burn and its tributaries transmitted in undiminished volume for use of the mill.  He failed in so far as agricultural use was deemed permissible.

Illus 2: The Water Wheel at Auchincloch photographed by Falkirk Museum in 1978.

James Grosart is recorded as the tenant in 1889 making cattle, pig and poultry meal.  In 1900 Henry Cameron took up the lease and advertised bean meal, Indian meal and general gristing.  He had previously been employed as a miller with William Wallace at Glorat Mill, Milton of Campsie.  In 1907 the mill was available to let and it was becoming difficult to find a tenant.  It was 1911 before Cameron and Wilson intimated an interest.  By then the mill had been inherited by Janet Myles and she had already let the mill houses to local people in order to get some income.  She tried to persuade her residential tenants to remove voluntarily but failing to do so offered part of Auchincloch House instead.  Claud Wilson was installed as the miller in 1912.  As well as bean and Indian meal he advertised cotton cake and poultry feed.  He worked the mill for many years with his son, James, and died in October 1931.  A corrugated iron-clad extension was added to the east allowing motor vehicles to be loaded directly from the store.  The equipment was latterly powered by electricity though the mill wheel, 6m in diameter and 0.9m wide, was retained against the north gable to work the sack hoist.  The buildings were photographed in 1971 as part of the industrial surveys of Strathclyde University (now part of RCAHMS collection) before the mill closed c1976.  The buildings were converted into a dwellinghouse.

1889James Grosart
1900Henry Cameron
1912Claud Wilson
1920sJames G Wilson

Sites & Monuments Record

Auchincloch MillSMR 480(NS 7668 7888)

G.B. Bailey, 2022