Tangy Mill

Kintyre, Argyll and Bute

Overview

This early 19th-century watermill still holds all its hoisting and grinding machinery, on the bank of a fast flowing burn near the west coast of the Mull of Kintyre. 

  • Dogs AllowedDogs Allowed
  • CotCot
  • Fire or StoveFire or Stove
  • Open SpaceOpen Space
  • Parking AvailableParking Available
  • Bath with ShowerBath with Shower
  • RemoteRemote

Beds 2 Twin 1 Double

Sleeps
6
4 nights from
£324 equivalent to £13.50 per person, per night

A watermill of harled whinstone in beautiful and remote surroundings

You live and sleep amongst the hoisting and grinding machinery of the mill, accompanied by the sound of the nearby Tangy Burn.

Towards the southern end of Kintyre, on the western side, the landscape changes and there is a broad open sweep of fertile land. Tangy Mill was built in about 1820, probably on the site of an earlier mill, to serve the big arable farms here. It stands in beautiful remote surroundings on the north bank of the Tangy Burn, near the point where it enters the sea, and is made of harled whinstone with sandstone dressings. For our repairs we obtained more of this sandstone from the original quarry.

All the machinery of a working mill still in situ

Because of the climate (which often merits extra layers of clothing) the grain, mostly oats, had to be dried before grinding and there is a two-storey kiln with a big revolving ventilator, known as a ‘granny’, on its roof. Here the oats were spread six inches deep on the perforated iron floor of what is now one of the bedrooms. When we bought the mill, the dressing, drying, hoisting and grinding machinery, the stones and shutes and the backshot wheel, were still there; we have kept all this in position and amongst it you live and sleep.

The atmosphere of old places of work is almost impossible to preserve because one cannot preserve old workmen and old ways of life; but this mill was so complete and in such an unexpected place that here for once, changing as little as possible, we have attempted it, helped by the water still chuckling beneath the backshot wheel. From the top of Kintyre you can hop onto local ferries to head east or west for the day and explore the whisky distilleries, beaches and walks of this magical coastline of islands, mountains and lochs.

Floor Plans

‘We saw dolphins off the beach. There was a whole group of them going quite fast, leaping through the water – it was magical.’

‘We’ve seen the Irish Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Ireland, seals, swans in the sea, a golden eagle, jellyfish, peacocks and palm trees.’

From the logbook

Map & local info

Tangy Mill stands in beautiful remote surroundings on the north bank of the Tangy Burn, near the point where it enters the sea towards the southern end of the Kintyre peninsula.

Enjoy your spectacular surroundings by following The Kintyre Trail. Or better still, see it up-close with the Mull of Kintyre Sea Tours

For those looking to experience the cultural scene, the Mull of Kintyre Music Festival runs annually in Campbeltown, usually over a late-August weekend.

Macahanrish Golf Course is a challenging course, but the sky is big, the sunsets dramatic, and the air is warmed by the Gulf Stream. 

Nearby Saddell Abbey is one of Scotland's hidden gems and some of the stones were used to build Saddell Castle, said to have given it special powers. 

Machrihanish Seabird and Wildlife Observatory is a fantastic way to engage with the wildlife in this remote and unspoilt area of Scotland. 

For more information about the area surrounding Tangy Mill, take a look at our Pinterest Map

Please Note: The Landmark Trust does not take any responsibility and makes no warranties, representations or undertakings about the content of any website accessed by hypertext link. Links should not be taken as an endorsement of any kind. The Landmark Trust has no control over the availability of the linked pages.

Tangy Mill
Kintyre, Argyll and Bute
Clear directions

‘We saw dolphins off the beach. There was a whole group of them going quite fast, leaping through the water – it was magical.’

‘We’ve seen the Irish Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Ireland, seals, swans in the sea, a golden eagle, jellyfish, peacocks and palm trees.’

From the logbook

FAQs

    What you need to know about this building

  • Does the property allow dogs?

    Yes.
  • How is the property accessed?

    From the main road.
  • What is the nearest railway station and how far away is it?

    Glasgow – 100miles +
  • Is there car parking specifically for Landmark guests?

    There is parking for two cars in front of the mill (there is a slope between the parking area and the entrance to the property).
  • What type of heating does the property have?

    There are electric night storage radiators and an open fire.
  • How can I get fuel for the open fire or stove?

    Unfortunately, there is currently no arrangement for the purchase and delivery of logs, however details of local sources will be provided with your order confirmation.
  • What are the kitchen facilities?

    The kitchen is fully equipped with all plates, cutlery, fridge etc. There is also an electric cooker.
  • What are the bathroom facilities?

    There is one bathroom with a bath.
  • Does this Landmark have steep, narrow or spiral stairs?

    The stairs are steep.
  • Is there a garden or outside space?

    There are open grounds. (Please note the burn is unfenced).
  • Is this a property for hardier visitors?

    Yes, this property is hard to heat in winter.

    Booking and Payment

  • What happens if I can’t get to the Landmark due to bad weather?

    If the weather is bad, please contact our booking office who will be able to tell you whether the Landmark is accessible. If the housekeeper can safely get to the building to prepare it then we consider that it is open and available for guests. However if we cannot undertake a changeover then we will do our utmost to transfer your stay to another Landmark, depending on what we have available. It may not be of a similar size or in the same part of the country as your original booking. If the building is accessible but the customer cannot travel due to poor weather in his/her local area then please be aware that Landmark will not provide a refund. However the customer may be able to claim on his/her own travel insurance. We recommend that all guests take out travel insurance when they first secure a booking.
  • How can I pay?

    We accept Maestro (if issued in the UK), Visa, MasterCard, direct transfer and sterling cheques drawn on a UK bank. Cheques should be made payable to the Landmark Trust except for Lundy stays and boat/helicopter tickets which should be payable to The Lundy Company Ltd. All payments must be in sterling.
  • How do I create an account?

    If you have not used the Landmark online booking facility before and you wish to register in advance, you can set up an on-line account by following the instructions below:

    Go to the Landmark home page and click on Gift shop (located at the top of the home page in red).

    Select a gift (e.g. Landmark Handbook or Anniversary Mug) and complete the ‘Amount required’ box. There is no need to complete the purchase but this step is necessary in order to bring up the registration page.

    Click ‘Next Step’ at the bottom of the page.

    This will bring you to the ‘Your details’ page.

    Please complete all the fields (name, address, contact details and create an account). Click on the green ‘Create Account’ button once you have finished.

    At the top of the page headed ‘Your details’ there will be a grey box saying ‘Signed in’ and underneath this it will say ‘you are currently signed in as ….

    Here you will also have the option to ‘Sign out’. Please do so and that is your registration completed.

    Please return to the Landmark home page.

    To check your registration or update your account details at any time please ‘Sign in’ using the icon in the top right-hand corner of the home page.

    If you experience any problems in registering or setting up your on-line account please contact webmaster@landmarktrust.org.uk.
  • How do I pick up the key?

    There are various arrangements for picking up keys. To arrange to get into the Landmark, please contact the housekeeper at least two days before your stay
  • Can I pay a deposit?

    If your stay starts more than three months from the date you make the booking, you are required to pay a deposit of one third of the cost of your stay (or £100 per booking, if greater) at the time of booking. Camping on Lundy must be paid for in full at the time of booking.
  • How can I cancel or change my booking?

    If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact our Booking Office on 01628 825925
  • Do you accept payment in other currencies?

    At the moment we only accept payment in sterling.
  • What if I arrive late?

    Please let the housekeeper know if you are going to arrive late and s/he will leave a key for you in a suitable place.
  • How far in advance do I need to book?

    It depends. Some of our most popular Landmarks are booked up a long time in advance, but many can be booked at short notice. We will always have Landmarks free for the coming weekend so it’s always worth checking our availability list.
  • Do you have to be a member to book a Landmark?

    No, Landmarks are available to be booked for anyone.
  • Do I need a Handbook to be able to book?

    No, all the information you need can be found on our website, although we’d like you to buy one anyway as it will be a pleasure to own!

    Staying at a Landmark

  • Are Landmarks accessible for people with disabilities or limited mobility?

    Some of our Landmarks are suitable for people with disabilities or limited mobility. However, many Landmarks have steep or narrow staircases, uneven floors and thresholds, changes of level, low ceilings or beams, as well as indistinct colours on steps and in corridors. We recommend that you call Booking Enquiries on 01628 825925 if you would like to find out the suitability of a particular Landmark for anyone with a specific disability.
  • Are Landmarks only available as self-catering accommodation?

    Yes, Landmarks are only available as self-catering accommodation. We do not offer bed and breakfast.
  • Do you provide catering?

    Landmark does not provide catering, but we can recommend Greycoat Lumleys who can arrange for expert and well-trained staff to cater for one evening or for your entire holiday. Their cooks and chefs are able to work with you to meet your specific requirements
  • Do you allow dogs?

    You may bring up to two dogs to properties where dogs are allowed (please see specific property details for exemptions however dogs are not permitted on Lundy except assistance dogs). They must be kept off the furniture and under proper control.
  • Can I bring a pet?

    Apart from two dogs (see above) no other pets are permitted.
  • Am I insured if I break something?

    We do not carry insurance for breakages. However we appreciate that accidents do sometimes happen. If you have a breakage during your stay, please let the housekeeper know and if appropriate we reserve the right to invoice you accordingly.
  • Are Landmarks suitable for children?

    Yes, most of our Landmarks are perfect for children, with gardens to play in and secret places to discover. Our furniture is surprisingly robust and we positively encourage families to stay. However, some of our buildings may not be suitable for small children; for example, some of them have steep or uneven spiral staircases. We recommend that you call the Booking Enquiries team if you would like to find out the suitability of any of our Landmarks for young children.
  • Can I get married in a Landmark?

    Unfortunately, most of our Landmarks are not licensed for weddings. However, you may get married on Lundy.
  • Can I hold a big party in a Landmark?

    All our larger Landmarks are perfect for gatherings of family or friends. You may invite an additional two guests to visit you during your stay, however they must not stay overnight. This is very important because our fire regulations specifically note the maximum number of people in any one building. In addition our properties are prepared, furnished and equipped for the number of people specified and greater numbers cause damage and excessive wear and tear to vulnerable buildings. Should this condition be ignored we shall make a retrospective charge per person per day (whether or not they stay overnight) for each guest over the permitted limit, the charge being pro-rated on the total cost of your booking.
  • Are there televisions in the buildings?

    We deliberately do not provide televisions and find that most people appreciate this.
  • Why are your access tracks sometimes difficult?

    One of the challenges of restoring unloved buildings is gaining access to them. We frequently have to negotiate rights with our neighbours and share tracks with them. In many cases tracks do not belong to us and we have no right to maintain them. Wherever possible we work with our neighbours to provide you with a good quality surface, but where this is a problem then you will be warned at the time of booking.
  • Will there be sockets for my electrical appliances?

    Yes, we have standard electricity sockets for UK appliances. If you are coming from outside the UK, you will need to bring your own adaptor plug(s).

    Facilities

  • Are the kitchens and bathrooms restored to a modern standard?

    Sometimes our kitchens and bathrooms have to be imaginatively fitted into the available space in buildings where before there were none, but they are all planned and equipped to a high and modern standard.
  • Is linen provided?

    Yes, Landmarks are fully equipped with sheets and towels. All the beds are fully made up for your arrival.
  • Are the kitchens fully equipped?

    Yes, our kitchens are well equipped with cookers and fridges. There are freezers and dishwashers (in larger buildings) and, where space allows, microwaves as well as a wide and standard range of utensils. A full equipment list is available at time of booking.
  • Do you provide logs for the open fire/stove?

    Logs are provided at many of our Landmarks for an additional cost.
  • Will there be a mobile signal in the Landmark I book?

    Mobile coverage varies. Some Landmarks have an excellent signal, but others have none at all. If you are concerned, you can check with the housekeeper before your arrival.
  • Is there Wi-Fi in your buildings?

    No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
  • What should I bring with me? Are there lavatory rolls, soap, shampoo, milk, teabags, coffee, hairdryer?

    A welcome tray with tea and sugar awaits your arrival and you will find a pint of milk in the fridge. We also provide lavatory rolls and a bar of soap, per basin but no other toiletries. We do not provide hairdryers.
History

Replacing an earlier mill

The Mill that we see today seems to have been erected in about 1820, but it probably replaces an earlier mill in a similar position. It was built to serve the big arable farms of the region. The L-shaped building is constructed of whinstone rubble laid in coarse lime mortar, and the dressings are of pinkish brown sandstone quarried form Kilkivan. The roof is of slate secured to 12" wide wooden sarking boards by wooden pegs known as ‘dolls’.

The Mill was principally used for grinding oats. Because of the wet climate the grain had to be dried before grinding and this took place in the two storey kiln with its big revolving ventilator, known as a ‘granny’, on its roof. Here the oats were spread six inches deep on a perforated iron floor. The fire below in the furnace chamber incorporates a central kiln surrounded by a brick vault which provided a void beneath the drying floor for the circulation of the hot air thus providing the heat to dry the grain - the granny ensured a steady draught.

The main block, consisting of three storeys of ‘lofts’ was where the oats were ground. The machinery was driven by the backshot waterwheel alongside the east gable, which was fed from a small dam at the head of a waterfall just above the Mill, while the main reservoir, Tangy Loch, lies a little further upstream. Two sluices controlled the flow.

The bottom loft contained the gear-cupboard, provided access to the kiln and was otherwise kept clear for the sack-hoist, which lifted the sacks of grain to the upper floors.

The middle loft served as the stones floor, containing two pairs of stones. Beside them stands a crane used to lift the upper stones when they required re-dressing. The larger pair of stones to the south is made of a softer stone, probably a Peak stone, and was used for the initial grinding of the grain and for cattle meal. The north pair is a French burr stone and was used for the second and finer grinding. Each stone is enclosed in a timber casing or ‘tun’ which retained the meal as it emerged from the outer edge of the stones. A scraper or ‘tag’ on the upper ‘runner’ stone swept the grain through a hole in the floor to a spout below.

A door in the south wall opens onto the drying floor of the kiln. The west portion of this floor contains the sack hoist and a threshing machine. The openings of the hoist are fitted with double flaps which closed automatically when a sack had passed through.

The top loft or bin floor is wholly within the roof space and contains the hoppers that fed the stones below. A small shute at the base of the south wall allowed grain to be fed into the kiln. The top loft houses the sack-hoist and the remainder of the space was used for storing sacks of grain prior to drying in the kiln or grinding.

The east portion of the furnace chamber is partitioned off and contains an intermediate floor, level with that of the lower loft in the main block. This room is known as the ‘seed house’ and formerly housed a winnowing machine.

The Mill was originally used for grinding oats for both human consumption and cattle feed, but latterly cattle meal alone was produced. Tangy Mill finally ceased operations in 1961, not least because the last miller, Mr Neil McConnachie had the nasty experience of falling through the rusting kiln drying floor into the furnace chamber.

Restoration

The mill machinery was still in situ

The Landmark Trust acquired Tangy Mill in 1973 from Mr McConnachie although it was not until the summer of 1979 that work began. Although the Mill had been disused for so many years, all the machinery was still there, and so, as much as possible, we have tried to leave it as it was, with the accommodation and furniture fitted amongst it all.

The outside of the building is unchanged except for one new window to light the bathroom. The south front door had rotted beyond repair, but the hinges are original. The stone lintel above it had to be replaced, as had several others. Fortunately, the Kilkivan quarry, near Machrihanish, from which the stone for the original quoins and lintels came, was still in use and so the new stone came from there.

Inside the walls are plastered as they were originally. The wooden posts are original, still with the burn marks from where lanterns were hung on them. The floor is pine, like the old one, but new.

To left of the door, as you enter, was a small office with the fire in it. The fire is as it was, except the original lining of lime mortar and cow dung, a traditional method in this area, had to be replaced. The stairs had been put in in 1913, but the hand rail, glazed fire door and panelled enclosure are new, as of course is the partition with the kitchen fittings.

The bedroom on the drying floor of the kiln has a door that had been used as a ramp for wheelbarrows. You can see where they have worn it away in the middle, and it has had to be strengthened. There used to be a board across the door to keep in the grain, and the slots that held it are still there. The shute above the door is where the oats poured in. The perforated cast iron floor is the original that Mr McConnachie fell through into the fire with his barrow of oats. He managed to get out by pushing up the iron panels which were fortunately not fixed. It was a narrow escape!

The ‘granny’ is a replacement, and the original would have been open at one side, but this would have made the room too cold and so the new one is closed in. The shaft used to be wood but was too noisy and so it was replaced with a steel one. The windows are as they were with original sliding wood panels. The other bedroom on the middle loft contains the threshing machine. This was moved three feet to make more room for the beds, and it is the only piece of machinery in the Mill that was shifted. By the door there is an old repair where the barrows came in. The bathroom was partitioned out of the rest of the middle loft.

The top loft with its two further beds has been lined with insulation board and some of the rafters needed reinforcement. The window frames are new. The roof was in a bad way and new coping stones were put on the west gable. The slates all had to be relaid. Finally, in May 1981, the walls were re-harled and painted in limewash as they had been originally.

Availability & booking

Select a changeover day to start your booking...

What's a changeover day? and Why can't I select other dates?Explain MoreQuestion

A changeover day is a particular day of the week when holidays start and end at our properties. These tend to be on a Friday or a Monday but can sometimes vary. All stays run from one changeover day until another changeover day.