Outlander fans help to restore Preston Mill’s wheel

Preston Mill stood in for Lallybroch , the Highland home of Jamie Fraser when the Redcoats came calling during the first season of the hit drama Outlander.

The appearance of 200-year-old Preston Mill on TV networks around the world has helped ensure its wheel will keep turning for a few more years at least.

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A crowdfunding appeal sent out by the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) after the iconic building’s waterwheel ground to a halt has been a raging success with donors digging deep to help pay for repairs, which have now got it moving again.

And it was the Outlander connection which help the fundraising effort smash through its £12,000 target, with an American fan of the show matching donations made by others.
A working mill until 1959, the historic Preston Mill in East Linton, East Linton, has a curious Dutch-style, red-tiled conical roof and is an architectural oddity which attracts thousands of tourists each year.

The engineer and millwright Andrew Meikle, who invented the threshing machine, was once a tenant and until September last year its machinery – powered by the River Tyne – was still turning.
It is now used to give tour groups an insight into the gruelling life of a 18th century miller, and is also beloved by painters because of its unusual design.

The mill stood in for a part of Lallybroch Castle in Outlander, in a scene where star Sam Heughan was fixing its wheel when Government troops came looking for Jacobites.

He plunged under the water to hide while time-travelling heroine Claire Fraser, played by Catriona Balfe, talked her way out of trouble.

Other scenes at ‘Lallybroch’, which the series places in Inverness-shire, were actually filmed at Midhope Castle, located between South Queensferry and Linlithgow on the edges of the private Hopetoun Estate.

But real life imitated art when the wheel stopped working last year, with the NTS appealing for help getting it moving again.

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