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12 Mar 2019

Keeping the wheels turning

A view of Preston Mill from across the mill pond. It is a sunny day; the sky is blue and the water very calm, meaning there is an almost perfection reflection of the mill.
Preston Mill is in need of repair.
We’re raising funds to repair Preston Mill in East Linton – one of Scotland’s few remaining examples of this part of our nation’s industrial heritage.

We’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to restore one of Scotland’s most picturesque mills, where some memorable Outlander scenes were filmed.

Preston Mill, located on the banks of the River Tyne in East Linton, was one of the region’s last working grain mills, having been used commercially until 1959. The 18th-century mill is now in need of urgent help to repair its water wheel after the mechanism which allows it to turn broke over the winter months, causing it to jam in a fixed position.

Our target is £12,000, and thanks to amazing public support, we’re already well on the way.

The image shows the top half of a water wheel, attached to the side of a red stone building.
Preston Mill
“We need to do all that we can to protect the places that inspire our love of Scotland, and Preston Mill is one of those places.”
Stuart Maxwell, General Manager, Edinburgh & East

In 2014, it hosted the cast and crew of the hit TV show Outlander as they filmed some of the first season’s most pivotal scenes and used the mill as a stand-in for Lallybroch, Jamie Fraser’s (played by Sam Heughan) family home.

Given the TV show’s international popularity, the fundraising campaign is running in partnership with the National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA. It has already garnered global attention with an American donor from Nantucket, Massachusetts, making a substantial match funding contribution. Barbara Beinecke Spitler will match all donations made towards the repair of the mill, dollar-for-dollar, until $5,000 (£3,901.50) is reached. As a fan of Gabaldon’s Outlander book series and a philanthropist of historic preservation, Barbara saw the donation as the perfect marriage of her two interests.

If successful in raising the total required amount of £12,000, work to repair the wheel will begin in early spring with hopes of completion by April – in time for the property’s seasonal reopening.

To get the wheel turning again, engineers will restore the masonry pillar – which the wheel sits upon – and replace the timber bearing and metal bushes, which houses the wheel’s axle and holds it in place, allowing the wheel to turn.

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