Click Mill

  • Dounby, Orkney



Click Mill was built by a John Spence in 1822-24, replacing an older mill at Millbrig. It stayed in use for about 60 years: it was last reported working in the mid-1880s.

It retains its full complement of machinery. Its most noteworthy feature is its unusual tirl (waterwheel), featuring two rows of six blades, one set above the other.

Horizontal water mills in northern and western Scotland are often referred to as Norse mills – perhaps because they date back to this period, though they may even date back to the early medieval period (from the AD 500s onwards). They’re an ingenious technology, making the best of a low head and volume of water, adapting well to local topography.

The mill is tucked away beside a stream and is well hidden in the local landscape. This may be intentional: mills, particularly in the Western Isles, were sometimes deliberately hidden to avoid payment to landlords.

Opening times

Open year-round.

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