© 2016 Quendale Mill
Made with Xara
Health Problems
Laurence Leslie continued to work at the Mill until 1911 when he had to take leave due to health problems caused by
the amount of dust generated through milling.  Mr Scott filled in for him until he returned two years later.  This time he
worked for another three years and then joined the Naval Reserve and Adam Eunson took over the post as miller. 
When the war ended Laurence Leslie once again returned to the Quendale Mill to continue milling and stayed until
1930 before deciding to move to Vancouver with his family.
Andrew Arcus, who had worked with Laurence Leslie in the late 1920’s, then took over milling at Quendale Water
Mill.  It was unfortunately short-lived as he caught his hand in the cogs of the machinery and had to step down from
the post as miller.  Laurence Leslie had returned from Canada in 1932 and was called on again to take up the post
as miller at Quendale Water Mill.  He continued here until 1941 when Adam Eunson took over once again.  Adam
Eunson stayed in charge until the Mill ceased operations in 1948.
The Millers
1867 to 1870 – John Anderson
1870 to 1870 – James Burnett
1870 to 1886 – Charles Langskail
1886 to 1889 – Alex Simpson
1899 to 1911 – Laurence Leslie
1911 to 1913 – ? Scott
1913 to 1916 – Laurence Leslie
1916 to 1918 – Adam Eunson
1918 to 1930 – Laurence Leslie
1930 to 1932 – Andrew Arcus
1932 to 1941 – Laurence Leslie
1941 to 1948 – Adam Eunson
During the time the Mill was in operation, crofters brought their Oats and Bere by horse and cart to the Mill to be
processed into Meal for eventual use in the production of Oatmeal and Beremeal bannocks – a staple diet for
Shetlanders at the time (and still enjoyed to this day).  Once roads had been improved to allow vehicular transport,
crofters from as far afield as Scalloway and Whiteness (40 kilometres) also joined the others in bringing their grain
crops to the Mill for processing.
Prior to the advent of “industrial” milling at Quendale Water Mill the quern stone was the common method used on
crofts to grind the bere.  We have one at the Mill where you can have a go and see how it once was done.
…and a few notes:-
Today the Mill is completely renovated and restored.  The South Mainland Community History Group, who now
operate the Mill as a quality visitor attraction, were greatly helped financially in the costly renovation work by the
Shetland Amenity Trust
Visitors are encouraged to watch the video of this Mill, with local
people operating the machinery, prior to their tour of the Mill and
displays of local history; following which they are invited to browse
through the locally made craftwork and souvenirs in the Craft Shop
and Reception area where light refreshments are always available!
The Quendale Estate dates back to the 16th Century but it wasn’t
until 1770 that the Grierson family acquired it and became the Lairds.  
The Mill was commisioned to be built in 1867 by the Grierson family
and grinding began at the Mill the following year.
Its primary purpose was to handle the grain for crofters from a very
wide surrounding area.   Most of the grinding was done in winter
when there was plenty of water in the dam to drive the Mill’s
John Anderson from Forfar was the first miller, followed in 1870 by
James Burnett.   In the late 1870’s, Charles Langskail took over and
held the job until Alex Simpson from Aberdeenshire succeeded him
in 1886.   He continued until George Leslie of Laxfirth took over the
farm in 1899.  Laurence Leslie, a young Dunrossness man, had
trained with Alex Simpson and was now given the job of miller, a post
he was to hold for most of his working life.  The Mill by this time was
extremely busy with carts coming with loads from all over
Dunrossness; storage space in the Mill and outhouses were filled to
bursting point.  At this time the only other large Mills in Shetland were
at Weisdale and Girlsta.
The Mill after Renovations
The Mill before Renovations