Waulkmill of Waulkmilton

Illus: Roy’s Great Map (National Library of Scotland).

This mill is noted as early as 1496 (Reid 2005, 47).  In 1546 the Register of the Great Seal records the confirmation of a charter by the Jonette, prioress of Manuel, in favour of Alexander Lord Livingston for his protection of the nunnery.  This charter included “terras de Walkmyltoun cum molendino” (Reid Notes).  In 1562 the farm came into the hands of the Mitchell family who were to remain there for centuries, though the mill was rented out to various tenants.  John Johnstone is named as miller there in 1683 and, at the same time, John Grahame was a “meallmaker.”  The mill was still in operation in 1714 when David Wilson “litser at Walkmiln of Walkmiltoun” took heritable possession of the mill.  This suggests that the woven cloth was being dyed at the mill at that time.  It seems that a second building was erected nearby for in 1718 David Wilson was paying £29.8.4 in rent for the “old walkmiln” and £6.13.4 for the “new walkmiln.”  Indeed, two structures are depicted on Roy’s map of the 1780s at the north end of the lade near the river.

It appears that the buildings of the mill lay derelict for some time before being demolished c1815 and consequently did not appear on Grassom’s map of 1817.  That map also shows that the steading had been rebuilt to the south (probably in the late 1780s).  The Ordnance Survey Name book describes Waulkmilton as:

A large farmsteading, dwelling house and office one storey, slated and in good repair, property of Wm Forbes Esq, Callendar House, Falkirk.  A few years since a waulk mill stood by the side of the River Avon immediately east of the farmsteading, from which it derives its name.

Sites and Monuments Record

Waulkmill of WaulkmiltonSMR 864NS 9842 7825

G.B. Bailey, 2022