Herbertshire Mill

This mill is not to be confused with Herbertshire Paper Mill.  Herbertshire Mill was the ancient baronial mill of the barony and in 1622 it appears as the “corn mill of Habertschyre“.  Its presence gave rise to the place name of Milton of Meikle Denovan, still preserved today in Milton Row.  Mylnetoune (Mill-town) of Denovan is first mentioned in the late 16th century (Reid 2009, 263).  Both the symbol for a water mill and the name Milton appear on Pont’s map in the 1580s.  Throughout the 17th century, when the lordship of Herbertshire was in the possession of the Earl of Callendar, the feu-tenants were given proportional rights to the mill – a unique arrangement in the Falkirk district.

Illus : Pont’s Map of c1580 showing a water mill at Milton on the north-east side of Denny Bridge (National Library of Scotland).

In 1510 and 1788 the mills here are referred to as a corn mill and a waulk mill.  The latest reference is from 1813 when John and David Paul were in occupation.  From then on it became an industrial mill.  It appears that originally the water came from the Anchor or Avon Burn rather than the River Carron. 

The plentiful water of the River Carron had been used to provide power for machinery over many centuries and by 1755 a lade had been constructed from it to the mill and is shown on Roy’s Great Map.  The small community at Milton consisted of the corn mill, the miller’s house and a couple of neighbouring farms.  In 1783 a printfield was established by William Morehead who was then the laird of Herbertshire.  It was located adjacent to the old mill and went under the name of the Herbertshire Print Works.  It may have been at this time, or shortly afterwards, that the lade was extended eastward across the Avon Burn to a replacement mill which, from its location adjacent to the formal plantations of Denovan Mains, became known as Planting Mill.  The site of the old mill was eventually used for the Vale Paper Mill and its history is covered elsewhere.

Sites and Monuments Record

Herbertshire MillSMR 1224NS 812 834

G.B. Bailey, 2022