Forss Mill and Miller’s House

About six miles out of Thurso on the West road toward Reay, Bettyhill and Tongue. This beautiful mill is very picturesque. Forss Mill is one of the finest surviving examples of a 19th century Caithness grain mill. A picturesquely situated 3-storey, 6-bay rubble building with a hipped slate roof in a stunning position on the banks of the Forss Water adjacent to a waterfall, against the mature beech woodland setting of Forss House. There is an external 8-spoke wood and iron overshot wheel about 4ft wide by 16ft diameter (1.22 by 4.88m). Adjoining the mill is a 2-storey dwelling house.

The complex of buildings is built in traditional Caithness flagstone rubble construction with flagstone roofs throughout. There are some unusual details such as walls constructed from a single slab of flagstone, which exploit the strengths and qualities of this once abundant local building stone.

The historic listed building is owned by inverness-based Highland Building Preservation Trust. A Plan to convert the old Forss mill and adjoining buildings had been given a conditional go ahead by the Highland Council’s Caithness area planning committee; undertaken by the Highland Building Preservation Trust. Much of the original mill machinery survives in the interior, which they propose to retain as part of the conversion.

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