Alford Image Library

Old Horse Mill at Tillychardoch, Tarland
The Alford Image Library
Old Horse Mill at Tillychardoch, Tarland

The raised platform around which the horses would have walked can clearly be seen in this panorama. See also photographs 864, 865 and 866.

A good description of how this worked is given by R.Gunn on the Caithness field club website at:

"The mill was driven by a horizontal gear wheel which was rotated by attaching a wooden pole pulled by the horse walking around a circular mill run. The mill run was usually constructed of stone built up some 3 ft. higher than ground level which gave the horse a clear walk without creating a quagmire. From the gear wheel in the mill run, a series of gear wheels and a shaft were connected to the mill in the barn."
Picture added on 09 March 2009
Jim, I am currently completing a booklet about the new Tarland Way walking and cycling route. I have mentioned this horse mill in the text and would really appreciate your permission to use your photo as an illustration of the horse mill platform. Since the building was renovated, the platform has been 'tarted up' and just doesn't look convincing any more! I look forward to hearing from you. Peter Craig, Tarland Development Group
Added by Peter Craig on 10 May 2012
Peter, I would be pleased to allow you to use this photograph, with appropriate acknowledgements. I'm glad I visited the site before work commenced, although I know just how difficult it can be to manage a conversion "sensitively".
Added by Jim on 10 May 2012
Jim, Very many thanks. I will make sure acknowledgements are included.
Added by Peter Craig on 23 May 2012


Lady MacRobert and her Three SonsTarland DramaticSawmill at TarlandTom na Hivrigh Stone Circle near Tarland