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Allanaquoich Sawmill

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Allanaquoich SawmillAllanaquoich Sawmill - 29th July 2009

Allanaquoich Sawmill is the (ruined) sawmill at Allanaquoich on Mar Lodge Estate, Aberdeenshire.  The ruins occupy an area on the left-bank of Uisge Quoich about half-way between the public road over Uisge Quoich and Linn of Quoich

The obvious ruins of the sawmill are still visible a short distance behind Quoich Cottage, and between it and the river.

I doubt any riverbank building below the Linn of Quoich could have survived the Muckle Spate of 1829, so the fact that this sawmill is shown on the old 6-inch map (1869) suggests it was built between 1830 and 1866 the year the area was surveyed. 

There was an earlier sawmill somewhere in the area ; MS 3175/653 includes the accounts of wood sold at the sawmill of Allanaquoich in the 1750s.  It’s not surprising that the location of this earlier sawmill is unknown ; the Muckle Spate of 1829 could easily have swept it away, and the late 19th century sawmill may have been built on the same site, and its construction may have destroyed all evidence of it.  This earlier sawmill may be the sawmill referred to in Cordiner (1780) - where the author refers to it - writing :

there is a long, romantic, winding valley, called Glen-quoich, bounded by sloping mountains, whose declivities were formerly covered with wood ; but in 1695, a saw-mill was built at the mouth of the glen ; and the timber yearly after, was cut down and sold, to a great amount : one only now observes, amid the highest cliffs, those detached trees the workmen could not reach

- Cordiner (1780) (p22)

The obvious ruins of the 19th century sawmill include the pit for the water wheel, and the channels that carried the water to drive the wheel.  There is no sign of the dam that must have stood across the river.  Once the dam went out of use, and stopped being maintained, the regular 'normal' spates caused by snow-melt, and storms could easily clear it away within a few years.