Forss Mill, Thurso


Forss Mill is one of the finest surviving examples of a 19 th century Caithness grain mill. It is situated in a stunning location on the banks of the Forss water, adjacent to a waterfall and against the mature beech woodland setting of the policies of Forss House.

The complex of buildings is built in traditional Caithness rubble construction, with flagstone roofs throughout. There are some unusual details such as walls constructed from a single slab of flagstone, which exploit the strengths and qualities of this once abundant local building stone.

Much of the original mill machinery survives in the interior and this has been retained as part of the conversion.

Images of Forss Mill by Rick Fleet kindly provided by Martin Fleet


The building was acquired by the Trust for £1 in 1997. A feasibility study funded by the Architectural Heritage Fund and Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise identified conversion to residential use, for sale on a revolving fund basis, as the preferred option. Work commenced on site in September 2000 and was completed in December 2001. All the properties are now sold. 

Design Team

The Rodgers Practice Architects and lead consultant
Baxter Dunn and Gray Quantity Surveyors
Torrance Partnership Valuation Surveyors
AF Cruden Assocations Structural Engineers
DM Geddes Contractor
O'Brien Construction Contractor


The total project costs were £616,505.35. The Trust appreciates the financial support given by the following bodies to this project:
Heritage Lottery Fund
Historic Scotland
Architectural Heritage Fund
Caithness & Sutherland Enterprise
Pilgrim Trust
Manifold Trust
Highland Council

Funding was secured from the following organisations: