In 1971, the Forestry Commission (FC) bought the land where Polmaddy stood. A local, (Mr Ansell), informed the FC of the presence of the ferm-toun. The Commission decided to protect the well-preserved remains and make it accessible to the public.
A survey of the site and a small scale excavation informed the plans to protect it.
The fieldwork identified a variety of structures including several houses and byres. A byre would have held animals or crops.
Unusually, four houses are grouped together, two semi-detached houses on either side of a small street.
There were six corn-drying kilns on the site. These would have dried the crops brought in from the fields, farmed in the surrounding area. The corn would then have gone to the mill.
The mill was water-powered. The water was carried down from the nearby Polmaddy burn to the mill pond. This was done via a wide, stone lined channel, called a lade.
The sluice gate controlled the supply of water stored at the mill pond. Opening the gate allowed water to run to the mill, turning the waterwheel, which then turned a large grinding stone that ground the grain.