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.