Tormiston Mill
Tormiston Mill
Tormiston Mill is a late 19th-century water mill, a good example of a type common in Scotland at that time. Tormiston was probably built in the 1880s. The waterwheel and most of the mill machinery have been preserved.

There is an interpretive display that helps explain the mill's history and how it was built to work. The mill was formerly incorporated into the visitor centre for Maes Howe chambered tomb, which is located almost immediately across the A965. As of this writing, the visitor centre is closed due to health and safety concerns and there is a shuttle bus from Skara Brae to the Maes Howe site for visitors.

The mill is a large, rectangular building standing three storeys high. It used three pairs of grinding stones driven by an overshot waterwheel made of cast iron. The wheel was 14 feet in diameter and four feet wide.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the mill is the lade - the water channel. Water is carried in a beautifully-preserved stone aqueduct to the waterwheel.

The wheel original drove three sets of millstones on the first floor. Grain was dried in a kiln at one end of the building, then stored on the second floor.


The mill is unfortunately now closed to the public. Concerns for public safety were behind the closure, as visitors to Maes Howe had to cross the main road in front of the mill to reach the trail to Maes Howe. Please do NOT make plans to visit the mill!