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Could this historic listed building be the new home of award-winning Dunnet Bay Distillers?

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The Highland spirits firm has invested part of its £2 million turnover in a new premises, which is a B-listed building.

Dunnet Bay Distillery purchased the historic 200-year-old Castletown Mill and the surrounding land at Castletown, which is close to the firm’s current distillery.

Though they haven’t confirmed if they will move operations to the new premises, recent activity by the owners online suggests that the premises will be used in conjunction with the business’ future endeavours.

The company is behind award-winning spirits Rock Rose Gin and Holy Grass Vodka brands. Martin Murray, owner and co-founder of the firm says the addition has “exciting potential” and is already considering applying for planning for the site, which would include refurbishment of the dilapidated mill building, with a view to creating further resources for the rapidly expanding business.

Martin said: “We are at the early stages of this particular development and the prospect offers exciting potential for our business and for the local community, not least as our future development plans include the employment of more staff.

“However, there is much work to do before we will be in a position to make any announcement.”

Martin Murray, co-founder and co-director of Dunnet Bay Distillers.

In a blog post on the company’s website, his wife, Claire, added: “We are really excited to share the news of our next adventure. We have always had a keen eye on Castletown Mill with many ideas for it, but a few hurdles had to be overcome before we could pursue the dream. Thanks to the patience of the former owner we are pleased to announce that just before Christmas 2020 we finally took ownership of this beautiful, but dilapidated, former mill.

“Situated at the west end of Dunnet Bay on the east side of the village of Castletown, the Castletown Mill is a very large, traditional stone-built water-powered grain mill, which dates from the early to mid-19th Century. A beautiful building with great baronial features such as crow stepped gables, small windows and prominent chimneys.

Rock Rose Gin by Dunnet Bay Distillers.

“We plan to conserve and repair the mill, a B-listed building, saving it from further deterioration and demolition by breathing new life into this much-loved local landmark. It looks like it could do with a few new windows and perhaps some roof work…”

Dunnet Bay products are available in 24 countries across the world and the brand has seen huge success since its inception in 2014, winning numerous awards and launching a plethora of new products.

Castletown Mill, which has been lying empty for years, was built by James Traill (1758-1843) who owned and developed the nearby flagstone quarry and the harbour at Castlehill. The businessman built Castletown Mill to cater for the growing number of workers employed at his flagstone quarry.

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