The mill at Polmaddy

Investigate the remains of Polmaddy ferm-toun and you will discover one building slightly larger than the others. This is the old mill, connected through local legend to the outlaw king Robert the Bruce.

In 1307, during the Scottish Wars of Independence against the English, Robert hid in the hills of Galloway.  Legend says that he took refuge at the miller's house in Polmaddy before his victory against the English at Glentrool. Later, when he was king of Scotland, he rewarded the miller by giving him the ownership of the mill.

The earliest historic reference to a mill at Polmaddy is over three hundred years later. It is marked on Pont's map published in 1654. Esther Mackormack of Barlae had the rights to the mill in 1697.

Tenant farmers were thirled, meaning legally bound, to have their grain ground into meal at the local mill. They had to pay a portion of the grain for the privilege. This was often not popular.

One of the types of crops the farmers grew was bere barley, frequently used to make ale.

Unusually for a small 'ferm toun', Polmaddy had its own inn, called Netherward. Located on the main road from Kirkcudbright to Ayr, it was a place for weary travellers to get some refreshment.