UPDATE #2 - We're over 2/3rds of our way to our goal in just over 48 hours. A HUGE thank you to everyone who has supported us so far!
UPDATE! A generous donor has pledged to match the first £4,000 of donations meaning your gift has double the impact!
Nestled within an idyllic location in the beautiful East Lothian region of Scotland, Preston Mill is an iconic and memorable sight whether it is your first time visiting the area or you are one of our regular visitors. Made famous by its use as Lallybroch in Outlander, when you first see Preston Mill you might think youve taken a step back in time. With its curious Dutch-style conical roof, the mill is an architectural oddity that enchants visitors as much as it delights painters and photographers.
However in September 2018, the water wheel fused and has since stopped working which is why we have launched this urgent appeal for funds. We must get the water wheel fixed by April in order for Preston Mill to be re-opened to the public in full working order.
The water wheel sits upon an outside masonry pillar which is topped by a timber bearing and a metal bush. This 'bush' houses the end of the wheels axle and holds it in place, allowing the wheel to turn. However, over time, the heat from the friction of the turning axle has distorted the bush and this has caused the wheel to jam in a fixed position.
We are now urgently working to repair the wheel before the Mill reopens on April 19th 2019. Over the winter, trusted structural engineers and millwrights came in to examine the problem and develop their solution. They are experts in their fields and experienced in looking after Preston Mill and Barry Mill in Angus. Based on their evaluation of the situation, work will begin in early Spring as we were unable to undertake work in the winter due to funding commitments and the Scottish winter weather.
To get the wheel turning again, engineers will need to prop the wheel and lift the axle free of the bushes. The masonry pillar will be consolidated, the timber bearing replaced, the bushes renewed, and joinery repairs will be undertaken to the paddles on the wheel. Finally, the wheel will be set back into place and levelled to turn once again.
This project will fix the broken water wheel and mean its working again in time for when the season opens. Visitors will be able to see it in action once again and learn more about how the Mill was used in the past.
Preston Mill is one of the many National Trust for Scotland places that have been used as a location for the TV series, Outlander.
The images show Culross (left), Preston Mill (centre) and Falkland Palace (right). All were locations used in Outlander
The Mill featured twice in season one of the show in some of the seasons most pivotal scenes. You may recognise it as the mill at 'Lallybroch', the ancestral home of the main character, Jamie. The interior exhibition room acted as the courts ante-chamber where Claire and Geillis were held before their witchcraft trial, but perhaps more memorably, was the scene in episode 12, when Jamie was approached by the local miller to help repair the broken mill and he had to resort to jumping into the mill pond to fix the wheel when the redcoats appeared, determined to find him.
Outlander fans have been inspired by many of the locations used in the filming of the show and have become passionate about Scottish heritage.
Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, the water wheel has broken. Interestingly, it has broken in a way which mirrors the show, and we are in urgent need of your help to repair its water wheel.
Preston Mill is a key part of our Scottish heritage and has been cared for by the National Trust for Scotland since 1950. The Mill receives on average 3,000 visitors a year from all around the globe due to its stunning architecture, picturesque setting, millpond and doocot, an abundance of nearby tranquil walks and of course its recent new found fame in the award winning series Outlander.
WHO ARE WE?
At National Trust for Scotland, we work on hundreds of conservation projects, protect thousands of acres of wild habitat and hundreds of thousands of items in our collections across every Scottish region. To do this, we rely heavily on donations from the general public. Since 1931, our Love for Scotland has protected our natural, built and cultural heritage. From coastlines to castles, wildlife, to wilderness and art to architecture, we encourage people to come together and connect over the things that makes Scotland unique and protect them for future generations. This is our first ever crowdfunder and we hope that it will be a success and draw in support for our country's heritage from across the globe. The Preston Mill project is being run by the following team, full of a range of expertise and passion which guarantees this will be a success if funded.
Paul Chandler Head Gardener for the Lothians (Newhailes,Preston Mill, Inveresk Gardens and Malleny Gardens) Paul has led work on the project and is passionate about the Mill. He will provide support to the works team as the project proceeds.
Gillian Murray Surveyor. Gillian is our regional building surveyor and has assessed what works are required to the Mill wheel. She will manage the delivery of the works to the wheel on behalf of the Trust.
Ciaran Quigley - Ciaran has been the miller at Barry Mill in Angus for many years and will support the project by offering essential expertise.
Christina Morrison - Giving Campaigns Executive. She helps look after public appeals and regular giving.
The £12,000 we need to raise will be split across all elements of the building work.
This project is important to us, our visitors, to Scotland, and to Outlander fans as it will ensure that a unique piece of industrial and rural heritage remains protected for the public and future generations. Thank you for supporting us.
If we're able to reach our target, any additional monies raised will go towards the running costs of Preston Mill.