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St Andrews, Law Mill

Grain Mill (18th Century)

Site Name St Andrews, Law Mill

Classification Grain Mill (18th Century)

Canmore ID 225150

Site Number NO41NE 88

NGR NO 49226 15806

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Fife
  • Parish St Andrews And St Leonards
  • Former Region Fife
  • Former District North East Fife
  • Former County Fife

Site Management (18 May 2011)

Predominantly roofless former mill on sloping site incorporating kiln with distinctive pyramid roof forming T-plan and associated late to later 19th century cottage. Sandstone rubble to mill with some ashlar margins. Squared and snecked sandstone with ashlar margins to single story and attic 3-bay cottage. LAW MILL: E elevation partly ruinous with near-central section of wall missing, probably formerly cart arches. Segmental arched entrance with dated keystone to right. Eaves level loft opening to far right. Fragmentary remains of further buildings to S. Wheel-pit to N elevation with cast-iron outer frame of wheel and some remainder of mechanism to interior. Square-plan kiln with pantiled pyramid roof projects from W elevation.

Law Mill, with its associated cottage, is a rare survivor of the many mills that once operated in this area. Law Mill was a corn Mill and its distinctive pantiled kiln is a particular striking feature. The first written record of a mill on this site is from 1570 when it was feued to David Orme of Priorletham by the Priory of St Andrews. It is possible that a mill has occupied this site since the 13th century (M Jarron & J Webster). The origin of the name "Law" is believed to be the Anglo Saxon word "hlaw", a burial mound most likely to be the nearby Hallow Hill (R N Smart, p 180). Law Mill was noted as being unusual by 1660 for being a double mill, denoting that it contained two sets of grinding stones. The mill was feued to Thomas Nicoll in 1848 and was to fall into decline from this period; the Nicoll family declared bankruptcy in 1913 after milling had stopped. The initials T N (Thomas Nicoll) can be found inscribed to the right side of the segmental arched opening to the Mill. Law Mill had an important part to play in the development of the Lade Braes walk as a designed landscape. The Lade Braes name derives from hillside (braes) and a course of water (lade) denoting the course built, initially by the Priory of St Andrews in the 13th century, to divert the water from the Kinness Burn to the many mills that once existed in the area. The Law Mill initially drew water from the Lumbo Burn before 1843 and after this date the diverted waters of the Kiness Burn were also used. (Historic Scotland)


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