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Far from run of the mill

Hard workers in their day, these former mills have found a new purpose in "retirement" as excellent family homes. We take a look around three converted water mills.

We begin our mill around on the Inner Hebridean Island of Coll. Accessed by ferry or plane, the Isle of Coll was home for many years to writer and illustrator Mairi Hedderwick. The Isle of Struay, the fictional setting for her Katie Morag' books, was based on Coll.


Our first converted mill dates from before 1900. In their Handbook To The Islands of Coll and Tiree, published we believe in the 1930s, authors Hector MacDougall and Rev Hector Cameron write of "the derelict meal mill" which was "a good going mill at one time and not so long ago" noting "the mass of rust which was once a powerful water wheel beside its roofless walls."


They also remark on a delicacy called a "bonnach de'n arun ur" bonnach meaning a bannock or cake which was "a treat keenly looked forward to in the past by young and old" so we assume that the meal from the mill was an integral ingredient!


Now converted and restored to create a five-bedroom home over three floors - with the first and second floors linked by a spiral staircase - The Mill is a delightful home in the rural hamlet of Acha. 


A real island home it even boasts its own snug.' Once the mill's kiln, the multi fuel Mors stove makes it the perfect place to keep warm and cosy on a winter's evening. It also has French windows opening onto a small balcony so ideal for a summer's day too!


Several elements of the original mill works can be found in the garden most notably the burn which once powered the mill, while the old wheel pit forms an attractive feature. Dry stone walls, rocky outcrops and the meandering burn are joined in the spacious garden by a pretty mix of trees and plants including wild fuschia, willow and gunnera.


The Mill is for sale priced at offers over 375,000.

Heading north-east to near Banff we find our second mill conversion. Minnonie Mill is a skillful and sympathetic conversion of an early 19th century meal mill. Undertaken by the current owners with architects the Ashley Bartlam Partnership, the project was a finalist in the Aberdeenshire Council Design Awards 2008. To see some images of the property before and after the conversation read our Steller story here.


A four bedroom house again split over three levels, Minnonie Mill is a flexible and spacious home. Worth particular mention is the magnificent sitting room which measures over ten metres long by five metres wide. 


Minnonie Mill's exterior is traditional but its interior contemporary, light and airy thanks in part to the windows in the interior walls. Its pleasing blend of old and new is perhaps best demonstrated by the conservatory room, which has a door leading out into the garden. Measuring just short of three quarters of an acre there is ample scope for the new owners to develop a wonderful large garden.  There is a pond already in place while the house enjoys a secluded setting and fine countryside views.


Minnonie Mill is for sale with our Elgin office with a guide price of 260,000.

Our final home this week is to be found in the Angus countryside between Balloch and Balintore. Completed in August 2010 by Fife developers Gradual Peak, it is believed that Mill of Auldallan dates back to around 1595. The Mill has as adjoining cottage which has been offered for sale separately.


Converted with high standards and a close eye to detail, The Mill is full of character with a contemporary feel and exposed woodwork and beams. 


The mill wheel itself has been transformed into a feature and given pride of place in the property's open plan living space with sitting, dining and kitchen areas - a definite talking point! 


A conservatory to the front of the home offers fabulous views while four bedrooms are to be found on the first floor which also provides access to a decked area. Outside the gardens and grounds are attractive with a woodland garden to the rear complete with gushing mountain stream.

Mill Of Auldallan (Lot 1 The Mill) is for sale with Galbraith Cupar priced at offers over 285,000.

For a some more mills check out our Pinterest board here.