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Ayre Mills
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Ayre Mills

A Tom Kent Picture with estimated date, showing the Ayre Mills in Kirkwall. My understanding was that this was a tidal mill of some sort, but there seems to be a wind mill on the roof forbye. Note the brig on the left that is still there, a familair shortcut to anyone who ever lived in Hatston, and the short steeple on the cathedral in the background.
Picture added on 09 February 2005
The structures on either end of the roof look like ventilators, maybe with vanes to point them downwind like the ones on oast-houses in Kent.
Added by Andrew Heron on 10 February 2005
The vent on the roof is known as "a granny" to help with the ventilation (as mentioned above) when drying grain.
The Ayre Mills started life as a saw mill then converted to a meal mill.
The Managers house on the left, the Kilnman's on the right.
Added by Rae Phillips on 30 December 2006
Further to my comment on picture #2615, in an article in the Orcadian in March 1952 (also on the Orcadian website) Robert Rendall wrote: "But never again as we walk out the road shall we hear the click-clack of the Ayre Mills and murmur conventionally, 'The mill’s workan the day.' Never again shall we lean over the old brig and watch with fascinated gaze the swirl and sweep of the out going tide from the Peerie Sea; or look across to the stone foundations of the old bridge, then the home of gorgeous sea-anemones, or watch that redoubtable old fisher R.G.H. patiently casting his line from the shore between the bridges." He was describing looking from the bridge on the left, which still exists, to the one on the right, which disappeared when all this was filled in during the war. "R.G.H." is presumably R. G. Harrold as seen in picture #2614 and picture #2615.
Added by Paul Sutherland on 21 March 2007
On the evening of Wednesday 20th August 1930, according to the following Wednesday's "Orkney Herald", J. Laughton, Blacksmith, Kirkwall caught three trout here in as many minutes. They weighed an aggregate of four pounds. There was a blacksmith of that name in West Castle Street.
Added by Paul Sutherland on 31 August 2008
picture precedes 1920. By that date the Cathedral restoration was over and the tall spire in place.
Added by David Partner on 02 October 2012
What happened to the Ayre Mill? Is the Ayre Hotel in the same spot?

[Ayre Mill is still there, half of it converted into flats, at the other end of the ayre from the Ayre Hotel, also still there and currently expanding -Steven]
Added by Nancy Gemmell on 13 October 2015
Added by Nancy Gemmell on 26 October 2015
My Great Grandfather George Clark was the owner of Ayer Mill in the 1890's. My grandmother was one year old when they moved there from mainland Scotland. I visited the library in Kirkwall in 2012 and was given a picture of the mill when it had the water wheel on the from of the building. I had no time to investigate further because I was sailing out of port two hours after finding family home and the last transfer was departing. I will go back some day.
Added by Bonnie Schumacher Childs on 02 August 2017
Re George Clark - his daughter Maggie Jane (1887-1955) married my great uncle William Slater (from Orkney)in Govan in 1910.
Added by Jane Harris on 06 August 2017
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