History in Structure

Former Bus Garage at Finzean Sawmill and Turning Mill

A Category A Listed Building in Banchory and Mid Deeside, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.0138 / 57°0'49"N

Longitude: -2.6746 / 2°40'28"W

OS Eastings: 359134

OS Northings: 791606

OS Grid: NO591916

Mapcode National: GBR WW.D159

Mapcode Global: WH7NR.WZK1

Plus Code: 9C9V287G+G5

Entry Name: Former Bus Garage at Finzean Sawmill and Turning Mill

Listing Name: Finzean, Sawmill and Turning Mill, Including Lade, Weir, Sluice Gate, Generator House, Kiln, Stack, Smiddy, Former Bus Garage, Mill Cottage, Ancillary Structures and Bridge over Water Feugh

Listing Date: 16 April 1971

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 407179

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB3046

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200407179

Location: Birse

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Banchory and Mid Deeside

Parish: Birse

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


Earlier 19th century. Mill buildings predominantly timber-framed with vertically boarded timber cladding, on granite rubble base course; kiln and mill cottage granite rubble with tooled dressings and long and short quoins. Boarded timber doors; 2-pane skylights. Corrugated-iron and steel roofs.


Rebuilt; timber and concrete series of lades flowing from W to E off Water of Feugh, at weir to S of mill buildings, flow controlled by sluice gate. N lade drives Sawmill wheel. S lade divided horizontally into lower and upper lades; upper lade drives small central generator wheel, discharging into tail-race of sawmill wheel; lower lade discharges into tail-race of sawmill and generator wheels to drive Turning Mill wheel.


To W of site. Single storey and basement, rectangular-plan with boarded timber walkway oversailing entrance to basement at E. Openings to N, W and E. 16 foot, double cast-iron frame start and awe wheel set in granite to S elevation. Interior: sawmill machinery survives in good working order.


To E of Sawmill. Single storey, rectangular-plan lean-to structure with door flanked by 3-pane window to E; small wheel driving electricity generator for Turning Mill to S.


To E of Generator House. Single storey and attic, rectangular-plan, with single storey ancillary structure adjoining to E; further single storey, rectangular-plan ancillary structure to E; boarded timber walkway to S over lade, from between 2 ancillary structures. 2 boarded timber doors to gabled N elevation, with saw for timber opposite door to left; cast-iron wheel set in gablehead; broad small-pane windows to ground floor of W and E elevations; skylights to attic. 10 foot, double cast-iron frame start and awe wheel set in granite wall to S elevation, window set in gablehead above. Interior: turning mill machinery in ground floor and attic survives in good working order.


To N of Turning Mill. Square-plan kiln with corrugated steel and boarded timber lean-to additions; formerly wood fired, now steam operated. Door flanked by window to W; cast-iron fire box access to S under corrugated lean-to; timber lean-to Smiddy to E, pulleys, belt-driven metal lathes and bellows for forge still in place (restored 1999); N elevation obscured by hill slope. Flat steel sheeting roof with timber battens. Interior: slatted floor with pipework below. Coped, square-plan red brick stack on granite rubble base to N of Kiln.


To NW of Turning Mill. Single storey, square-plan former Bus Garage, on stilts to S. 2 2-leaf doors to N elevation; window to centre of W and S elevations; polythene covered window opening to E elevation. Grey slate pyramidal roof with skylights and tiled ridges.


To N of Kiln on opposite side of valley road. Single storey and attic, 3-bay cottage orne, with flat-roofed modern addition to outer right.

S Elevation: gableted timber porch with latticed gablehead advanced to centre of ground floor on rusticated timber columns, boarded glazed timber door, window to each flanking bay; 2 gableted bipartite dormers to left and right of attic, skylight to centre.

E Elevation: gabled; ground floor obscured by modern addition.

N Elevation: not seen 1999.

W Elevation: gabled; blank.

Predominantly 4 and 2-pane timber windows with top hoppers. Grey slate roof with overhanging eaves and tiled ridge. Coped granite gablehead stacks with circular cans.

Interior: not seen 1999.

2 boarded timber ancillary structures to W of cottage, one with 3 bay traditional cottage incorporated with corrugated roof; former stable for horses used to move timber for Sawmill.


Flat-arched, double-span bridge over River Feugh to SE of Mills, central granite ashlar cutwater, flanked to left and right by pink granite wing walls; boarded timber road on steel supports with slatted timber parapets.

Statement of Interest

A-Group with Finzean Bucket Mill, Mill of Clinter and Cottage to S of Mill of Clinter (see separate listings). The Finzean Sawmill and Turning Mill, on the N bank of the River Feugh, is a remarkable survival in full working order. The sawmill, and the site of the Bucket Mill (see separate listing) were established in the early 19th century to exploit the Glen Ferrick pine woods. From the 1830s to 1871, the sawmill was occupied by a range of different timber contractors who were harvesting timber on Finzean Estate. During this period the sawmiller was Charles Young. In 1871 the operation of the Sawmill passed to Alexander Duncan, who had built the Finzean Turning Mill in the 1830s on the outflow from the sawmill. The Sawmill and Turning Mill is still operated by a member of the Duncan family. In 1999, the ownership of the mills passed from Finzean Estate to Birse Community Trust. Extensive restoration work has been carried out on the mills using local timber milled at the sawmill.

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