Holm Mills

Weir at Holm MillsThe Holm Woollen mills were powered by water until the mid 1930's, the weir for the mill of Bught also directed water into the lade for Holm mills. The Bught (pronounced "bucht") mill was one of many meal mills powered by the waters of the Ness, the existence of the Bught mill was first noted in 1232. In the 1920's this mill became the site of a hydro-electric station, the powerhouse still stands at Whin Island.

The sluice gate for the Holm mills is still there, water flowed from the lade through a pipe to the wheel house where there was 12 ft high wheel. The mill was founded by MacKenzie, Gordon & Co. in 1808 on the site of an earlier mill dating from 1798. The business failed in 1815 and was taken over by Dr. John Nicol (later Provost of Inverness) in 1817.

Weir at Holm MillsThe canal, a good bit higher than the river at this point as can been seen in the picture on the left, used to leak. This contributed to and was cause for alarm during the Great flood of 1849 when the old stone bridge, where the Ness bridge now stands, was washed away. There was also an outbreak of Cholera in Inverness the same year in which 112 people died. At least one leak was fixed using special cloth woven at Holm mills. This was laid on the canal side and covered in clay and rubble - the canal hasn't leaked since.

References

EHL MACASKILL, ca. 1980 Water Power in Inverness and District. In An Inverness miscellany (Number 1). Inverness: The Inverness field club.
Am Baile - The Bught Mill: http://www.ambaile.co.uk/en/item/item_photograph.jsp?item_id=6337