The monument consists of the corn mill at New Abbey and its water-works, the mill pond and lade, fed from Loch Kindar. In addition the fish ponds to the W of the mill, fed from the mill pond overflow, and a curling pond further S, also fed by the same system, are included.
New Abbey Mill is of the lowland type of water-powered grain mill that developed from the late 18th century across the S of Scotland. Such mills ground oatmeal, other types of grain, beans and pease for both human and animal consumption. New Abbey is a medium-sized mill which was built in the late 18th century, almost certainly replacing a monastic mill on the same spot. The "corn mill of Lochkindeloch" is noted in a deed dated 1559 and mention of the mill-lade frequently occurs in documents after 1578. A description of the village in 1590 in the Register of the Great Seal makes it clear that a mill stood in this position then. The present mill was built for Mr Stewart of Shambellie to serve local needs. At some time in the 19th century it was substantially altered, the original two-storeyed building being converted into three by inserting a loft.
The miller's house, drying kiln and mill unusually form an integrated structure. The water-wheel, of conventional construction with cast- iron rings and hubs and wooden axle, buckets and spokes, unusually has nine spokes rather than eight or ten. The wheel is of the pitchback type, that is, the wheel turns towards the flow of water. Water is drawn from Loch Kinder down the lade into the mill pond then along a timber trough, or launder, and thus to the wheel. Within the mill the loft was used for storage and to feed the hoppers which led the grain to the stones floor. The stones floor has three pairs of grinding stones and a shaking seive. The ground floor houses the machinery which transmits power from the water supply to the grinding machinery above, together with ancillary processing machinery. The kiln contains a floor of perforated cast-iron plates supported on wrought-iron bearers above a brick funnel. It has roof trusses of steel and a ventilator which is circular in section and has a conical top surmounted by a fish weather-vane.
The mill lade, or Sheep Burn, runs almost one and a half kilometres from Loch Kindar. It fed the mill pond and, when the mill pond was full, flowed over into the fish pond which lies adjacent to the New Abbey Pow (river). These features probably all have monastic origins. The curling pond near to the loch is probably a 19th century feature.
The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan, to include all of the above elements (the mill, the kiln, the miller's house, the area around the mill used by the miller as garden ground and the associated water system comprising the mill lade, mill pond, fish ponds and curling pond). It is irregular on plan, a maximum of 140m E-W by 160m N-S plus a strip along the lade, 1460m long by 4m wide, and a further area 250m E-W by 100m N-S around the curling pond, which lies some 1000m SSE by S from the mill. The area is shown in red on the accompanying map.