Castletown Mill, Castletown

General Details and Location

Name of Building
Castletown Mill
Other Name(s)
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
Listing Category
OS Grid Ref
ND 20135 68103
Location Type
Small Town
HS Reference No


Large 3-storey T-plan rubble mill with tooled rubble dressings. Wide symmetrical north elevation with centre kiln block flanked by 3-bays either side and by projecting, gabled chutes. Near centre 3-storey, 6-bay wing projects at south, with further gabled chute. Mainly symmetrical fenestration; 1st floor entrance in south gable with access by forestair; east and west gables crowstepped; single ridge stack; Welsh and Caithness slate roofs. Interior; all machinery and internal overshot wheel removed. Dated west gable apex finial; figure worn. (Historic Environment Scotland List Entry)

The only other double mill in Scotland is Ayre Mill in Kirkwall. (John Hume, RCAHMS)
Building Dates
1818 or 1819

Category of Risk and Development History

Very Poor
Category of Risk
Exemptions to State of Risk
Field Visits
November 1991
, 20/6/2012, 26/9/2013, 23/05/2018
Development History
November 1991: External inspection reveals the mill to be redundant and derelict. One section has not been used since it housed the RAF in World War II. 18 December 1992: The John O'Groats Journal reports that the owner has unwittingly removed the slate roof without the necessary permissions on safety grounds. Local councillors are concerned at the condition of the mill and may consider serving a Repairs Notice, and ultimately pursuing Compulsory Purchase. The rear remains in use for storage purposes. October 1995: Local planners report that the local heritage society has expressed an interest in the building. January 1998: Local planners report that the property has now changed hands. October 1998: Local planners report that Nicholas Groves Raines Architects have been commissioned to investigate conversion and re-use. April 2003: External inspection reveals the mill to remain vacant and at risk. The east gable chute is now lost, along with much of the roof. 30 April 2004: The John O'Groats Journal reports on the mill's inclusion in the Buildings at Risk Bulletin. September 2007: Caithness Courier reports on the launch of the third phase of a plan to safeguard the heritage of Castletown by the Prince of Wales North Highland Initiative. The Prince is quoted as stating he "could not bear to see the Castletown mill become more and more deteriorated"
20 June 2012: External inspection finds the roof of the north range has been lost. Some floors appear to survive but it is largely ruinous. The south range appears to survive largely intact.
26 September 2013: External inspection finds the building continuing to deteriorate.
23 May 2018: Limited external inspection (due to roadside position) finds the building remains disused and subject to slow general deterioration. As previously noted the northern range is roofless with the timber roof structure collapsing internally. The southern range remains roofed, walls have dampness in patches but appear relatively plumb.

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number


Current Availability
Not Available
Appointed Agents
Occupancy Type
Present/Former Uses
Building Uses Information:
Present Use 1: N/A Former Use 1: Mill
Present Use 2: N/A Former Use 2: N/A
Name of Owners
Mr Alex Grant
Type of Ownership

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
Beaton (1996), p68; Gifford (1992), p114.
Online Resources
Original Entry Date
Date of Last Edit