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Catrine Mill

Cotton Mill (Period Unassigned), Steam Engine (19th Century)

Site Name Catrine Mill

Classification Cotton Mill (Period Unassigned), Steam Engine (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Catrine, Mill; Catrine Mills; Bleachworks; Spinning Mill; Mill Lade; Tail Race; River Ayr

Canmore ID 43558

Site Number NS52NW 19

NGR NS 5282 2587

NGR Description Centred NS 5282 2587

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council East Ayrshire
  • Parish Sorn
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Cumnock And Doon Valley
  • Former County Ayrshire

Archaeology Notes

NS52NW 19.00 centred 5282 2587

NS52NW 19.01 NS 5353 2618 (NS 53549 26216 to NS 53532 26141) Weir (across River Ayr)

NS52NW 19.02 NS 53549 26216 to NS c. 52748 25954 'Water Works': Lade, sluices and ponds

[Scheduled area includes weir NS52NW 19.01].

Location formerly entered as NS 534 258.

Catrine Mill was built in 1747. A good example of an early industrial cotton twist mill, it was partially surveyed for the National Buildings Record in 1960. The mill was noted as being demolished by Butt in 1967.

SNBR 1960; J Butt 1967.

Although the splendid cotton mills, architecturally the finest in Scotland, have been demolished, most of the original 2-storey rubble housing survives, together with the weir, approach spans to the wheel-house, and the tail-race installed in 1827 for the great 50ft (15.24m) wheels built by William Fairbairn. The tail-race exit is at NS 523 261.

J R Hume 1876.

Catrine Mill was entirely demolished in the early 1960s.

Visited by OS (JRL) 8 October 1981.

Architecture Notes


This Category A Listed Mill was demolished 1963-64. Information from NMRS Demolitions catalogue.

Remains of the stone-lined lade, the west portion of which was culveted until it was excavated during a housing development in 2002. The lade previously provided water power to Catrine Mill (demolished), taking water from the River Ayr. At the time of RCAHMS photographic survey on 15 October 2002, the west portion of the lade (the tailrace returning water to the River Ayr) was being excavated and then filled in by the developer.

Information from RCAHMS

(MKO) 2002


Photographic Survey (September 1960)

Photographic survey of the exterior of Catrine Mill, Ayrshire, by the Scottish National Buildings Record in September 1960, prior to demolition.

Desk Based Assessment

A 30 horse power, 38 rpm, stroke 28 1/8 in by 6 feet, Boulton and Watt sun and planet engine was ordered by David Dale for Catrine in 1800/01.

Birmingham Library, Boulton and Watt Archive MS/3147/5/208.

Information from Mark Watson, HES, Conservation Directorate, 2 April 2019.


Catrine Mill was at one point a partnership between Claud Alexander of Ballochmyle (the landowner) and David Dale (one of the founders of New Lanark cotton mills) in 1787. Catrine Mill was taken over by James Finlay and Co. in 1801.

J Shaw (1984)


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