Barry Mill teacher information

Barry Mill is a water-driven mill that is still in working order. Pupils can see and hear the water wheel and mill machines at work.

The present, Grade A-listed building dates from 1814, when it was rebuilt after a fire - although a charter from 1539 (on display) shows that milling has taken place here for hundreds of years.

The present mill produced oatmeal up to the 1970s and then animal feed until 1982. It was the last water-powered meal mill to work commercially in Angus – and is now one of only three in Scotland where visitors can see the traditional way of milling. Barry Mill took in oats from most of the local farms, and played an important role in the economy of the community. For the last 56 years of its commercial operation, the mill was run by the Gunn family. The National Trust for Scotland purchased the mill in 1988, and conserved and repaired the building and machinery.

A guided tour of the mill explains the process of milling grain into oatmeal: storage, drying, cleaning, milling and sieving. The 4.7m-diameter overshot water-wheel is worked and a full milling demonstration given for all school groups.

All parts of the mill are protected by permanent safety barriers and there are areas large enough to accommodate groups.

There is also a waymarked path beside the shallow lade to the mill pond (and beyond), showing the water system.

The school visit offers opportunities for cross-curricular work and engaging with the Curriculum for Excellence. Tours can be adapted to suit the requirements of your class.

Possible topics

  • Technological developments in society
  • Simple engineering (pulleys, levers, gears)

Resources for schools

  • Illustrated guidebook – for sale on site
  • Handling objects – available on site (must be booked in advance)
  • Exhibition about Barry Mill and milling

Planning your visit

  • To book: please contact the property for a booking form.
  • Book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
  • Barry Mill is open for school visits from April to October. It may be possible to arrange a visit during the rest of the year – please telephone us to check.
  • Schools should preferably visit the mill in the morning (from 9.30am onwards). You may visit in the afternoon but there could also be public tours taking place.
  • Maximum number for mill tours: up to 60 pupils, divided into groups (each group with a maximum of 20 pupils and 2 teachers/adult helpers)
  • Parking: there is a car/coach park by the mill.
  • Access: the mill has 3 entrances – one for each floor. The lower ground and ground floors are accessible for wheelchair users, but we regret the top floor is not. Please telephone to discuss your requirements – we will try hard to accommodate your pupils.
  • Toilets: there are fully accessible toilets on site.
  • Refreshments: pupils are welcome to bring their lunch - there are picnic tables in the orchard. We have a permanent open marquee, for wet weather, beside the reception building.
  • Clothing: pupils should be dressed appropriately for the outdoors.
  • The site has been risk assessed. Teachers are expected to prepare their own risk assessment for the visit.


  • For the latest charges, please contact the property.
  • All class teachers are encouraged to make a free preparatory visit to the site.

During your class visit

  • On arrival, please go to the reception building near the mill.
  • Tours of the mill are always led by Trust staff.
  • A mill tour takes about 1 hour.
  • If you wish to see the exhibition and take a teacher-led walk to the mill pond, please allow 2 hours.
  • Teachers are responsible for their pupils and their behaviour.
  • SAFETY FIRST: all parts of the mill are protected by permanent safety barriers but it is still a working mill with some steep stairs and heavy implements in the building. There are areas of water around the site. Pupils must be supervised by their teachers throughout the whole visit.
  • Pupils are welcome to take photos/films.
  • Shop: there is a small retail area that pupils can visit, in small groups with their teacher or adult helper.

If you prefer to print this information you can use this download. Please note that some of the information may now be out of date.