Preston Mill and Phantassie Doocot, East Lothian

Preston Mill

The week before we went to the Netherlands we visited Preston Mill and Phantassie Doocot in East Lothian. They are Scottish National Trust properties. The mill is a really interesting place to look around, in fact I hadn’t expected to enjoy it so much. The doocot is still in use as a dovecot and you can’t see inside it but we walked along to it from the mill, it was a gorgeous day for a stroll and there’s a nice river to look at. Apparently there are kingfishers there but we didn’t see any.
Preston Mill
The drying area of the mill is especially quirky, as you can see it resembles a witch’s hat, it looks as if it should be part of a film set, the house of a hobbit or something. You can read more about it here.

Preston Mill

In fact the guide told us that the place has been the location for some filming of Outlander, but I’ve never seen it. Culross in Fife is also used as a location. I’m going to have to start watching Outlander so that I can spot the locations.

Below is the doocot, the strangest one I’ve ever seen.

Phantassie Doocot
Although there is no flour milled nowadays they are running all the machinery so that you can see exactly how it all worked. I had no idea that mills were so complicated, the whole thing is very Heath Robinson-ish but it works.

The mill has a long history of being flooded and it was only after it was flooded badly in 1959 that the miller called it a day and decided to pass the mill on to the Scottish National Trust. Below is the water wheel which runs all the machinery.
Preston Mill
If you go to visit you should make time to take the walk around the nearby fields. We were lucky enough to see a heron flying off the river right in front of us, he flew into the adjacent field to eat the fish which he had just caught.


I took the last photo looking back towards the doocot. It all seems so long ago but it was only just over a month ago that we visited these places, it’s just that we’ve done so much in between then and now, and I have such a huge backlog of blogposts. This is a lovely part of East Lothian, although nothing as scenic as the west of course!

E Linton and doocot

12 thoughts on “Preston Mill and Phantassie Doocot, East Lothian

    • Peggy Ann,
      You could make a good house out of it, but there’s still that flooding problem. They had the water levels marked out on the walls, some years it was higher than me!

  1. Outlander? Is that the American name for Diana Gabaldon’s book “Cross Stitch”. I knew it was being made into a film but is it out here? I would love to see it!

    I love Preston Mill. It’s just such a quirky looking building. I’ve seen those flood markers too. It’s amazing how high the water has come! No wonder the miller gave up!

  2. I know – it’s bad enough when the translation to another language changes the whole meaning of the title of a book or movie. But when both countries (ostensibly) speak the same language it makes no sense at all.

    • Pearl,
      I know people who have mistakenly bought the same book twice because of the different titles, so I wouldn’t be at all surprised that publishers do it deliberately to get more sales!

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