Skipperton Mill

In 1793 there is a reference to “part of Skipperton at the Tronach Burn, with the Lintmiln thereon” (Reid 2005, 38).  This, however, may be a reference to the mill at Burnhouse and it is notable that whilst Burnhouse Mill is shown on Grassom’s map of 1817, Skipperton is not.

Illus 1: Extract from the 1860/62 Ordnance Survey Map showing the Mill Dam at Skipperton (National Library of Scotland).

The mill was probably established shortly after 1817.  Around 1850 George Connell took over the farm at Skipperton and started to make improvements, such as drainage.  In 1859 some 200yds of 5ins bore wooden pipes were advertised for sale at Skipperton by Andrew Connell with a note that

They have been some time in the ground, but are in a good state of preservation

(Glasgow Herald 25 July 1859, 2). 

They were probably from the pipe feeding the mill pond which still stands to the south of the farm.  The reason for the sale of the pipes is not given, but it can be presumed that the lade was being improved and the pond was enlarged (as shown by the 2nd edition Ordnance Survey map).  Then, in 1863, there was another newspaper advertisement, this time for

Best home-made LINSEED CAKE may be had, either whole or ground, at SKIPPERTON OIL MILL

(Stirling Observer 12 March 1863, 8).
Illus 2: The Mill Pond with Skipperton Farm beyond.

Andrew Connell must have died shortly afterwards for George Connell in 1874 put the Lands of Skipperton up for sale.  Included in the notice was

a Water-Wheel (which may be had at valuation) of 6 to 8 Horse-power, for Thrashing, Churning, Grain-Bruising, Chaff-Cutting, & c.  The Water-wheel has also been used for Manufacturing purposes, for which there is good accommodation”  

(Falkirk Herald 25 June 1874, 1).

Clearly by 1874 the mill was only being used for farm purposes.  The farm was bought by John Watson and the mill appears to have continued in use for agricultural processes.

Andrew Connell may have been George’s brother.  The following year Andrew Connell was offered five bags of lintseed at a bargain by John Miller, grocer, Longcroft.  He grew suspicious and Miller was arrested as part of an investigation into the theft of some lintseed from a barge on the Forth and Clyde Canal (Glasgow Morning Journal 21 March 1864, 6).

Illus 3: The Site of the Mill Wheel.

Sites and Monuments Record

Skipperton MillSMR 516NS 8086 7859

G.B. Bailey, 2022