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Fingask Castle, Old Sawmill

A Category B Listed Building in Kilspindie, Perth and Kinross

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.4373 / 56°26'14"N

Longitude: -3.2519 / 3°15'6"W

OS Eastings: 322904

OS Northings: 727932

OS Grid: NO229279

Mapcode National: GBR VB.ZBJB

Mapcode Global: WH6Q8.0GRG

Entry Name: Fingask Castle, Old Sawmill

Listing Date: 30 May 2006

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 398516

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50469

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Kilspindie

County: Perth and Kinross

Electoral Ward: Carse of Gowrie

Parish: Kilspindie

Traditional County: Perthshire

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Description

Circa 1915. Single and 2-storey with loft, 7-bay, L-plan sawmill in Scots Renaissance style on two levels, with lower ground to E. Squared and snecked dark whinstone rubble with stugged, tooled pink sandstone ashlar dressings; long and short quoins; steeply-pitched, double-ridged pantiled roof with crowstepped gables; battered buttresses to gable ends. Arcaded and voussoired openings at ground and 1st floors; crowstepped double-gable with corbelled step to central loft hoist door with wrought iron scrolled brackets and decorative carving to N. Long 2-storey elevation to E with square windows at 1st floor level, wide round-arched 1st floor opening to S return. Wide, steel-linteled opening to W re-entrant angle. Adjoining pantile-coped

and stepped wall forming upper level open court to W; stone forestair to lower level rising to arched opening in wall.

12-pane timber sash and case windows to upper floor level (most missing, 2006). Steep-pitched clay pantiled roofs. Recessed cast-iron rainwater goods; mostly broken or missing (2006).

INTERIOR: little remains of sawmill machinery; rectangular wheel pit and steel wheel casing to upper concrete floor to E.

Statement of Interest

Constructed in a style reminiscent of the Lorimer School, the mill is an unusual and unique example of its type, situated in an isolated spot in a natural valley surrounded by steep embankments. The sawmill is in a derelict state (2006) however, the high quality masonry remains in relatively good condition throughout.

A reservoir on higher ground to the north feeds the lade running directly underneath the building. An internal waterwheel, belt drives and gearing mechanism occupying the lower ground floor room would have powered the saw wheel in the floor above.

A rectangular plan sawmill is depicted on the OS map of 1862 and the revised map of 1898. The existing L-plan mill makes use of steel and concrete so is unlikely to contain built fabric from the older mill. There is conflicting evidence as to the name of the architect and the year it was built. It is said to have been commissioned by Sir James Henderson Stuart, who acquired the diminished Fingask estate in 1912. There is also the possibility the mill was built during Bruce Gilroy's series of improvements to the estate between 1917 and 1925. His architects, Mills and Shepherd, extensively refurbished the castle, demolishing most of the 19th century additions. The practice were well regarded at the time, superseding Lorimer as choice of architect on this occasion.

The mill is not mentioned in the Fingask entry of the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland, although it is situated within the boundary. The area of land on which the Mill sits is no longer owned by Fingask Estate (2006).

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