History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
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!
About Tormiston Mill
Address: Stenness, Orkney, Orkney, Scotland, KW16 3HH
Attraction Type: Historic Building
Location: On the A965 about 9 miles west of Kirkwall, opposite Maeshowe.
Photo Credit: John Allan, licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Maes Howe Chambered Cairn - 0.2 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Barnhouse Neolithic Settlement - 0.9 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Stones of Stenness Circle and Henge - 0.9 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Ring of Brodgar - 1.8 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Brodgar RSPB - 1.8 miles (Countryside)
Unstan Chambered Cairn - 2.5 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Cuween Hill Chambered Cairn - 2.6 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Corrigall Farm Museum - 3.8 miles (Museum)
Nearest Holiday Cottages to Tormiston Mill:
Nearby accommodation is calculated 'as the crow flies' from Tormiston Mill. 'Nearest' may involve a long drive up and down glens or, if you are near the coast, may include a ferry ride! Please check the property map to make sure the location is right for you.