North Bankhead Mill

Illus 1: Extract from Roy’s Map (National Library of Scotland).

(New Mill)

North Bankhead Mill was situated on the north bank of the River Avon to the west of Avonbridge.  A weir fed water from the river into the lade.  It must have been one of the lint mills referred to by the minister in 1793 in the Statistical Account for Muiravonside.  The lade and building are clearly depicted on Roy’s map of that period, though it is not named.

It is also shown to the south of Bankhead on Grassom’s map of 1817 where it is called “New Mill.”

Illus 2: Grassom’s Map showing new Mill (National Library of Scotland).

The lint mill must have gone out of business around 1820-30 and was converted to use as a sawmill.  In 1851 the farm and mill were put up for sale, at which time the latter was leased by James Gardner:

“Lands in the Parish of Muiravonside and County of Stirling for sale.  There will be Sold, by Public Roup, within the Royal Exchange Sale Rooms, Glasgow, upon Wednesday the 3d day of April 1850, at two o’clock pm,

1.  THE LANDS of NORTH BANKHEAD, with the SAW-MILL and WATER-POWER, lying on each side of the Monkland Railways, and distant one mile or thereby from Avonbridge Station, as the same are at present possessed by Thomas Forrest and James Gardner respectively.  The Lands are at present let for £60 yearly, and the Saw-Mill at an annual rent of £10.  There is a considerable extent of the Lands planted with trees of from 30 to 50 years’ standing.  The Lands and Plantations extend to about 65 Acres, 2 Roods, and 13 Poles Imperial…

To ensure a Sale, the Lands of NORTH BANKHEAD, & c will be put up at £1500; and the Lands of BRIDGEHILL, & c at £900.”

(Glasgow Herald 15 March 1850).
Illus 3: 1862/63 Ordnance Survey Map (National Library of Scotland).

The following year Gardner sold his wright’s and smith’s shop in Avonbridge along with the tools and dwelling house and moved to Kirkintilloch (Falkirk Herald 15 May 1851, 1).  The lease at North Bankhead was taken by James Hodge, millwright and agricultural implement maker.  The sawmill was clearly still operational in the 1860s when the Ordnance Survey team were in the area.  Hodge lived nearby at Parkneuk and died in 1872 when the wright’s shop at Crossroads was advertised for rent.

Sites and Monuments Record

North Bankhead MillSMR 1200NS 8926 7320

G.B. Bailey, 2022