About New Abbey Corn Mill
What’s this attraction all about?
The New Abbey Corn Mill, situated in the lovely village of New Abbey, offers a glimpse into the life of Scotland’s ancient grain milling craft thanks to a complete set of original milling machinery that’s still in use today. Although the last miller left this small whitewashed building over 65 years ago, visitors can still see the huge wooden water wheel in action, spun by the power of the river that flows nearby as it rotates the grinding wheels that turn Scottish grains into one of the nation’s staple foods, Oatmeal.Read more...
What can you do there?
Although the mill was built towards the end of the 18th-century it’s believed that a mill of some kind existed here as far back as the late 13th-century when Cistercian monks established Sweetheart Abbey at the far end of the village, hence the mill’s alternative name, Monks Mill. Visitors to New Abbey Corn Mill can take a trip back in time throughout the year, but it really comes alive during the months between April and September when the water wheel is activated and the original grinding, turning and sifting machinery shudders into action and oatmeal is produced from the three massive grinding stones on the middle floor. Take note though that when the water supply is low the wheel is de-activated, but there’s a short video available that shows how the mill machinery has operated for the last few hundred years.
Opposite the main building is a small wooded garden area next to a gently flowing stream that’s great for a family picnic before heading inside the mill. Here you’ll be greeted by one of the knowledgeable Historic Scotland staff who will be only too happy to tell you all about the history of the mill, and you can then take a look at the rotating wheel on the outside before moving into the mill house. The original milling machinery can be seen here across three floors, and the sounds and smells of oiled metal and creaking wood really help to bring the millers craft back to life. Be aware that the stairs here are quite narrow and steep so anyone with mobility issues might want to stick to the lower level.
After visiting the mill you can take a walk up the road to Historic Scotland’s larger site in the village, the 700-year old Sweetheart Abbey with its ornate stone carvings and a graveyard full of mightily impressive ancient gravestones.
What I liked about this attraction
- It’s a really interesting piece of nostalgia
- The mill has been exceptionally well restored
- Sweetheart Abbey is close enough to combine both visits into one day
What I didn’t like about this attraction
- When the water wheel isn’t turning you’re shown a video that might not be interesting to some people
- It doesn’t take long to walk around the site
New Abbey Corn Mill,
- Telephone: 01387 850 260
- email: NA
- Website: Historic Scotland
Prices and opening times
- Historic Scotland Member/Explorer Pass holder: Free
- Adult: £5.00
- Child aged 5–15: £3.00
- Child under 5: Free
- Concession: £4.00
- 1 Apr to 30 Sept: Daily, 9.30am to 5pm. Last entry 5pm
- 1 Oct to 31 Mar: Daily except for Thurs and Fri, 10am to 4pm. Last entry 3.30pm
Craig Smith is your guide to the best attractions in Scotland. He loves exploring the Scottish wilds and is happiest when he’s knee-deep in a muddy bog in the middle of nowhere.