In the 1700’s and 1800’s, a condition existed, which was known as “Astricted Milling”. This was a tri-party agreement between the landowner, his tenant miller and the tenant farmer on the land. It permitted that all the grain belonging to the landowner’s tenant farmers was sent to the miller for griding. The farmer would be paid by the miller, therefore providing the income for the farmer to pay his rent to the landowner. The Miller, in turn after working the grain, would be able to sell the product, allowing him a source of income and means to pay his rent to the landowner. The three parties, whilst indpendendant upon agreeing their financial arrangements, were actually dependant upon each other to succeed.
The Rotten Calder had 7 mills, namely: Mavis Mill, Priory (Black or Bardykes ) Mill, Dyseholm, Milheugh’s 2 mills, Crossbasket Bridge Mill, and an unknown mill at higher elevations. On the River Clyde, of course were the large Mills operated by Monteith, near the home of David Livingstone the explorer. An earlier Mill existed on this site prior to 1785, named Millhaugh.
Pictured are the Bardykes Mill ruins in 2004, photographed by Alex Rochead.