Click Mill (c) Humphrey Bolton
Click Mill

Click Mill is the surviving horizontal water mill on Orkney. The mill has been restored to full working order. This style of horizontal mill wheel was quite common in Shetland and Isle of Lewis as well as Orkney.

The current mill building was erected in 1823 by John Spence to replace an earlier mill that had fallen into decay. We do not know exactly when the first mill was built but it must have been several centuries earlier.

The original water supply to the mill was destroyed in the 1920s during road building work. During the restoration work, a water supply was piped in, to allow the mill machinery to operate again.

The mill building is very small, about 4.5m x 2m. The main entrance is in one of the long walls, with a smaller opening opposite to create a through breeze for winnowing grain.

The wheel has two sets of six blades for twelve in total, one set of six above the other. The millstones are encased in wood with a chute leading to a metal box for collecting the flour.

In its heyday, the mill could grind about one bushel of grain per hour (roughly 250kg or 550 pounds). The mill building is made of flagstone rubble, with a flagstone roof topped by turf.

Access to the site can be muddy, so good waterproof walking shoes are recommended. Click Mill is in the care of Historic Scotland.