One of the few water-powered sawmills in Scotland - and possibly the only one still in working condition - the Kirkdale sawmill is driven by an overshot 19th century water-wheel.
The sawmill is situated beside the idyllic Kirkdale Burn, which runs from beyond the prehistoric standing stones at Cairn Holy to the sea at Ravenshall near Dirk Hatterick’s cave. The latter even features in Sir Walter Scott’s novel, Guy Mannering.
Recently restored with a new sloping roof over the saw bench, the mill provides unique insight into a sector of Scotland’s industrial past.
Behind the main building, the nature trail runs alongside the mill pond, while a young plantation of uniquely beautiful Sitka Spruce lay near the sawmill. There are many other gorgeous trees to be found in Kirkdale Glen, including Alder, Hazel and Wych Elm. The glen is also crossed by three bridges, the oldest of which was built in the Middle Ages.
Aside from ancient architecture and charming flora, the nature trail also has some beautiful local fauna. Graceful roe deer often frequent the area and if you’re really lucky, you might even spot a red squirrel. Thanks to the nearby burn, otters are often frequent visitors as well. Many birds also live in the areas, including grey wagtails, great spotted woodpeckers and the occasional buzzard.
The sawmill itself is open April through September, with a small admission fee of £2 for adults and 50p for children. Winter tours can also be arranged by appointment.