Early 19th century. Distinctive 2-storey and attic, rectangular-plan former loom house (now converted to dwelling) on ground falling sharply to NW with later extension at rear. Interesting and rare vernacular survival contributing significantly to streetscape. Tooled random rubble with droved dressings polished to margins. Piend roofed timber dormers breaking eaves to attic floor.
FURTHER DESCRIPTION: near symmetrical entrance elevation to NW with 5-bay ground floor comprising timber door at centre and small square windows in flanking bays; 4 similar windows to 1st floor and 3 large dormer windows above. Gabled bays to SW and NE, each with stone steps rising steeply toward rear and 2 windows to 1st and attic floors.
Replacement 4-, 12- and 15-pane glazing patterns in timber casement and sash and case windows. Grey slates with lead roof ridge. Coped rubble gableheads stacks with some cans. Ashlar-coped skews.
BOUNDARY WALLS: rubble walls to NE and SW, that to SW coped.
Statement of Special Interest
Dating from the early 19th century, Millhouse Cottage is a rare example of a village loom house. Now converted to housing, it forms an important part of the streetscape in Kinnesswood.
The village of Kinnesswood, formerly known as Kinaskit, is sited on the lower slopes of Bishop Hill overlooking Loch Leven. The Cobbles leads off the Main Street and stretches up the hill on a parallel course with a water supply which flows immediately to the rear of Millhouse Cottage. During the early years of the 19th century, with strong competition stemming from the introduction of hand looms far too large for small weavers cottages, local weavers built this rare loom house, known as 'The Factory'.
During the closing years of the 18th century, the Industrial Revolution was impacting upon the many small weaving communities throughout Scotland. David Dale's New Lanark, founded in 1785 in association with Sir Richard Arkwright, is an extreme example, but by 1787 there were already 26 cotton mills in Scotland built on Arkwright's principles. In order to remain competitive, cottage industries were utilising larger machines totally unsuited for use within tiny weaver's cottages. The simplest solution was to build a loom shed, probably of timber, on to the side of an existing cottage, but very few examples remain. The successful market in the Kinnesswood area enabled the weavers to produce this substantial structure in which to continue production and remain competitive. This loom house or mill, simply a building type intended to house mechanical implements, follows the distinctive pattern offering good storage space, solid construction and, of particular importance to weavers, plenty of light.
Immediately opposite the old loom house is Michael Bruce's Birthplace (see separate listing), former home of the 'Gentle Poet of Lochleven' (1746-67). From the 16th century, Kinnesswood was famous for the manufacture of parchment and vellum, a trade thought to have originated with the monks from St Serf's Island on Loch Leven.
Formerly listed as both Burnside Cottage in 1981 (HB Number 17964) and as Millhouse Cottage in 1998 (HB Number 45643). These listings have been merged, and the list description revised 2008.