Thanks to generous donations from the public, the water wheel at historic Preston Mill is turning once again, the National Trust for Scotland has announced.
Sam Heughan, star of the hit TV show Outlander, has offered his thanks after the conservation charity called on the public to help restore one of Scotland’s most picturesque mills where some of the TV shows most memorable scenes were filmed.
Preston Mill, located on the banks of the River Tyne in East Linton, was one of the region’s last working grain mills having been used commercially until 1959. However, the 18th century needed urgent help to repair its water wheel after the mechanism which allowed it to turn broke over the winter months, causing it to jam in a fixed position.
Within two weeks of the launch of the crowdfunding appeal, the sum of £12,000 required to undertake the repair works, was raised enabling work to be carried out to restore the wheel to its former glory.
Sam Heughan recorded his message of thanks in a short video released by the National Trust for Scotland he said: ‘A big thank you to everyone who supported the National Trust for Scotland’s Preston Mill fundraiser. It’s an incredible mill and you guys helped to keep that place looking fantastic. I really can’t thank you all enough. It’s a beautiful place. Go visit!’
With its curious Dutch-style conical roof, Preston Mill is an architectural oddity that beguiles visitors and transports them back in time.
In 2014, it hosted the cast and crew of the hit TV show Outlander as they filmed some of the first season’s most pivotal scenes and used the mill as a stand-in for Lallybroch, Jamie Fraser’s (played by Sam Heughan) family home.
Given the TV show’s international popularity, the fundraising campaign ran in partnership with the National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA. The campaign attracted global attention with an American donor from Nantucket, Massachusetts, making a substantial match funding contribution.
Stuart Maxwell, general manager Edinburgh & East said: ‘We’re very thankful to everyone who has supported this project by raising awareness of the work we needed to do to protect this important place. Whether it was spreading the work on social media, or by donating to our crowdfund appeal, it’s been fantastic to see. Thanks for helping us to get the wheel turning once again.’