History in Structure

Steading building and attached horsemill and lean-to at Kinvaid Farm, Moneydie

A Category C Listed Building in Strathtay, Perth and Kinross

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Latitude: 56.4535 / 56°27'12"N

Longitude: -3.5196 / 3°31'10"W

OS Eastings: 306440

OS Northings: 730075

OS Grid: NO064300

Mapcode National: GBR V4.T88L

Mapcode Global: WH5NZ.X16Z

Plus Code: 9C8RFF3J+C5

Entry Name: Steading building and attached horsemill and lean-to at Kinvaid Farm, Moneydie

Listing Name: Steading building and attached horsemill Kinvaid Farm, excluding timber lean-to adjoining horsemill and rear wall of steading and farmhouse and other steading buildings to south, Moneydie

Listing Date: 19 June 2019

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 407189

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB52511

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200407189

Location: Moneydie

County: Perth and Kinross

Electoral Ward: Strathtay

Parish: Moneydie

Traditional County: Perthshire

Tagged with: Farmstead


Early 19th century, single storey and hayloft, long, rectangular-plan, agricultural steading with later 19th century circular horsemill attached to the north elevation. There is a late 19th century timber lean-to in the adjoining angle between the steading and the horsemill, which is excluded from the listing. The buildings form the north side of a courtyard steading (the other buildings are excluded from the listing). The building is on elevated ground and surrounded by farmland.

The walls of the steading are built in rubble stone. The steading's roof is steeply pitched and slated. There are triangular ventilators close to the ridge and some traditional square rooflights with a central glazing bar.

The openings have roughly squared stone surrounds. The door openings have a relieving arch above them, and some have the remains of timber boarded doors. Those in the north elevation have been blocked with rubble stone. The window openings are very small. There are some later and enlarged openings in the south elevation, with brick or concrete jambs, including a wide flat-arched cart opening with a sliding metal door. There are single hayloft openings in the north and south elevations. These openings break the wallhead and have piended roofs and slated sides.

The interior of the steading (seen in 2019) is divided into two sections by a rubble wall. The roof has timber sarking boards, rafters and a cross beam. There are no traditional machinery, fixtures or fittings remaining in the interior.

The walls of the horsemill are built in roughly coursed, rubble stone and the openings have roughly squared stone surrounds. The roof is conical and slated, supported on timber rafters, sarking boards and radiating cross beams. No machinery was seen in the horsemill (2019).

In accordance with Section 1 (4A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 the following are excluded from the listing: the timber lean-to adjoining horsemill and rear wall of steading and the farmhouse and other steading buildings to the south.

Historical development

Kinvaid farmhouse and its associated steading are believed to date from the early 19th century (probably built between 1816 and 1829). The former horsemill is a later 19th century addition. The farmhouse and the steading ranges attached to it have been incrementally altered and reworked over the course of the late 19th and 20 centuries.

Kinvaid was the name of a medieval castle that stood around 1.5km to the northwest of the present farm. The castle is marked on Stobie's 1783 map of 'The counties of Perth and Clackmannan', where it is noted as 'Castle in ruins'.

In 1816 the farm of Kinvaid was part of the estate of Kinvaid (along with the farms of Whitehills, Lawston and Knowhead) which was owned by the Crown (Caledonian Mercury). Kinvaid Farm was advertised for let in 1829, and the owner of the farm at this time was Captain James Stewart (Edinburgh Evening Courant).

An 1829 newspaper advert noted the buildings on the farm included a threshing and sawmill, a genteel dwelling house and convenient and substantial offices (steading). It is highly likely that Stewart carried out improvements to the farm, such as building the farmhouse, steading and mills, when he took ownership after 1816 and before 1829.

Buildings in the location of Kinvaid farm are first shown on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey (surveyed in 1864). They include the farmhouse with rectangular steading ranges arranged around a courtyard. Around 100m to the southwest is a rectangular-plan building adjacent to the mill lade, which is likely to have been a water powered threshing machinery. It is known that the farm had a water powered threshing mill, because it was advertised for sale in 1839 (Perthshire Courier). Immediately to the northwest is an L-plan building, which may have been the sawmill.

Captain Stewart died around 1846 (Glasgow Herald) and the Ordnance Survey Name Books for the parish of 1859-1862 record the farm was owned by the Duke of Athole by that time. The Duke owned most of the farms in the parish.

By the 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey Map (surveyed in 1899) the mill lade is no longer shown and a circular horsemill has been added to the north side of the north steading range lean-to. This indicates that a horse-driven threshing machine replaced the water powered one. This map also shows a large square-building that infilled much of the central courtyard.

Newspaper articles from 1906 record that the steading was badly damaged by fire. The fire originated in the granary (which is likely to be the steading range on the east side of the courtyard) and nothing but the walls survived. The openings in this part of the building have brick reveals, suggesting that the openings have been enlarged, likely to be after the fire.

The site is understood to have remained in use as a farm until the late 20th century. An agricultural shed has been added to the west side of the west range, probably around the mid-20th century.

Statement of Interest

Statement of Special Interest:

The early 19th century steading range with later 19th century attached horsemill are relatively unaltered. Together they show the farming practices and methods of the 19th century, an important period in agricultural history in Scotland. The survival of farm buildings that retain a significant degree of their 19th century fabric and form are increasingly rare. The buildings have distinctive architectural features, such as the usually small windows in the steading range and the conical roof of the horsemill which is now a rare survival of its building type.

In accordance with Section 1 (4A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 the following are excluded from the listing: the timber lean-to adjoining horsemill and rear wall of steading and the farmhouse and other steading buildings to the south.

Architectural interest


In plan form and materials, the long and linear early 19th century steading range built with thick walls of undressed rubble stone and a slate roof, is typical for a tenanted improvement period farm steading. The principal estate farm buildings have a greater degree of design quality with more ornate and elaborate architectural features and embellishments, but such decoration is more unusual at the tenanted farms.

The interest of this steading range and horsemill is the degree of survival of the early 19th-mid 19th century form and fabric and the relative lack of alterations. This is particularly unusual here given the level of change to the other steading buildings (which are excluded from the listing).

Small, square openings with roughly dressed stone surrounds are particularly distinctive features, as such openings would typically have been enlarged. Door openings have been blocked but their location can still be seen in the stonework of the walls, by the squared stone jambs and relieving arches. Byres and stables required good ventilation and the triangular roof ventilators also indicates the building's agricultural function.

The steading range has been altered by the addition of openings, particularly in the south elevation, as shown by the brick and cement reveals. The hayloft floor has also been removed, with only the end of the floor joist remaining. These alterations are not uncommon or out-of-character for an agricultural building that remained in use until the later 20th century and these changes do not adversely affect the special interest of the building.

Circular horsemills are very distinguishing components of late 18th and 19th farm steadings prior to mechanisation and automation in farming. The horsemill retains its characteristic conical roof supported on a timber beam roof structure. No machinery survives in the interior, but it is common for obsolete machinery to have been removed.

The interest of the horsemill is enhanced by the survival of the steading which it is attached to, as together the agricultural function of these buildings is clear.


Kinvaid farmhouse and steading have been built on the top of a ridge and the buildings remain surrounded by farmland. This setting means the buildings are a prominent feature of the landscape, particularly when viewed from the south and the small settlement of Moneydie. Farmhouses and steadings were often built on the highest point of a farm. This not only aided drainage but provided the farmhouse with a commanding view of the surrounding farmland. The rural and raised setting of Kinvaid Farmhouse is typical for its building type.

The immediate setting of the farmhouse and steading largely remains the same as that shown on the 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey map. A square building that almost filled the courtyard has been removed and there is a large agricultural lean-to shed attached to the west side of the west range. Such additions are not unusual for a site that remained in use as a farm until the late 20th century.

To the southeast of the farm is a short row of farm workers' cottages. To the southwest is an L-plan building (likely to be the farm's former sawmill) and a rectangular-plan building (likely to be the water-powered threshing mill). All of these buildings are shown on the 1st Edition map and are historically associated with the farm. These buildings are not listed and have not been assessed for listing at time. They are in separate ownership.

The historic and functional relationship of the immediate steading buildings, as well as the wider farm buildings can still be seen and aid our understanding of the operation and size of the farm in the 19th century. The survival of Kinvaid's Farm immediate and wider rural setting is of some interest.

Historic interest

A horsemill was a typical component of an improvement period farm steading but surviving 19th century horsemills which have not been extensively altered are very rare at agricultural sites. After the invention of the threshing machine by Andrew Meikle in East Linton in 1787, threshing machines started to replace less efficient hand threshing practices at larger farms by 1800. The counties of East Lothian, Perthshire and Dumfries and Galloway, in particular, would have been at the forefront of this technological development.

These machines were powered in a variety of ways including wind, water and horse. Four to six horses would be tethered to the ends of long beams and walked in a circular path, turning the axis to power the machine. The machines were contained within barns which were of oblong or circular shapes. By the 1850s threshing machines were largely steam powered, but horse-powered machines continued to be used on smaller farms or those not near to a ready supply of coal.

The introduction of the combine harvester in the 1950s made previous threshing machinery obsolete. The buildings that housed previous machinery, which survive close to their 19th century form are increasingly rare. Around 40 listed steadings in Perth and Kinross have a horsemill. The 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map shows the circular footprint of horsemills at eight of the 15 farms in Moneydie Parish. Current aerial photographs indicate that none of these survive.

The former horsemill at Kinvaid Farm is not significantly later in date than its associated farm steading and it appears to be the only surviving horsemill in this agricultural area. The historical interest of the horsemill is enhanced by the survival of the earlier steading. Together they show the farming practices of the 19th century.

Social historical interest

Kinvaid is in the parish of Moneydie. The New Statistical Account of 1845 refers to the sweeping changes in this agricultural parish that have occurred in the previous 40 years. The previous runrig system of farming was replaced, with the small parcels of land owned by cottagers put together to create a larger farm managed by one tenant farmer. The chief crop of the parish was the potato crop, which was the main product of Kinvaid Farm (Perthshire Courier, 1839).

Moneydie remains today an agricultural parish, characterised by extensive farmland and a lack of 20th and 21st century housing developments. The survival of Kinvaid Farmhouse and Steading is part of the area's agricultural history, particularly of the improvement period. The steading with its associated horsemill are an important representation of this social and economic history.

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