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Burnside of Letham Including Watermill with Wheel and Steading

A Category B Listed Building in Scoonie, Fife

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.2253 / 56°13'31"N

Longitude: -3.0174 / 3°1'2"W

OS Eastings: 337015

OS Northings: 704103

OS Grid: NO370041

Mapcode National: GBR 2H.CL37

Mapcode Global: WH7SG.MSCH

Entry Name: Burnside of Letham Including Watermill with Wheel and Steading

Listing Date: 19 July 2004

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 397589

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49899

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Scoonie

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: Leven, Kennoway and Largo

Traditional County: Fife

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Leven-Fife

Description

Mid to late 18th century farm group with later alterations.

FARMHOUSE: front re-cast mid 19th century. 2-storey 3-bay farmhouse with single storey former byre wing. Coursed sandstone with raised ashlar quoins and 1st floor cill course to S, predominantly whitewashed rubble with irregular massive quoins to other elevations.

S ELEVATION: part-glazed timber door in bay to centre, bipartite windows in flanking bays, regular fenestration to 1st floor.

N ELEVATION: largely unaltered with door to left of centre and small window in bay to right at ground, stair window to centre and further small window to left at 1st floor. Single storey former byre wing with small window to outer left.

Small-pane glazing in modern outward-opening timber windows. Modern red pantiles. Gable stacks to W and E with thackstanes and cans.

INTERIOR: modernised.

WATERMILL WITH WHEEL: pantiled piend-roofed rubble range to SW with large irregular sandstone quoins and margins. Earth floor.

W ELEVATION: bay to right of centre with lean-to roof of wheelhouse, timber-lintelled door and tiny opening to right. 6-spoke steel-framed now overshot wheel in situ. Mill lade, now disused, on brick piers to left. Small openings above to outer left and right.

E (COURTYARD) ELEVATION: door to left of centre with opening above, further 2-leaf door to right.

INTERIOR: access to water mill mechanism through timber boarded section. Riddling pans supported at 1st floor on timber beams with shoot below.

STEADING: rubble, U-plan with double piended range projecting to SE and piended mill building (see above) to SW. Variety of original openings to courtyard S elevation including broad door below hayloft door with flanking windows to left, 2 segmental cart arches to outer left. Predominantly corrugated roofing but pantiles retained over cart arches and partly to projecting range to SE.

INTERIOR: some timber trevises remain in range to N.

Statement of Interest

A good example of an early farm complex with a now-rare waterwheel and associated machinery in situ. Burnside appears on Ainslie's 1775 map and was renamed 'Burnside of Letham' in the late 1980s. By 1964 the property was no longer in use and it lay empty until being renovated circa 1992. The watermill was originally undershot but is now overshot and was last used in 1962. As there is no millstone but riddling pans instead, it seems likely that the present watermill was chiefly used for separating chaff from grain for animal feed and perhaps to supply the Fife malting industry. The mill dam, no longer extant, was originally to the West.

An early photograph and map evidence shows that between 1855 and 1893 four covered cattle courts existed within the U-plan steading. This is in keeping with the growth in the cattle industry which resulted in cattle numbers on British farms increasing by one third between 1864 and 1874. They appear to have been demolished some time in the 20th century.

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