New Mill was a corn mill (barley and oats) on the Kinness Burn near Newpark. Plash Mill Cottage, named after the later waulkmill on the same site, is a conversion of the original mill building and is a Category C listed building. The mill did not take water from the Priory lade which flowed around it, but used water from the Kinness Burn which was diverted by an impressive dam, the remains of which can still be seen. The dam would have created a deep pond, raising the water level high enough to feed the mill.
The first record of the mill is in 1550 when it was feued by the Priory to Allan Lamont, a local landowner, so the mill was certainly older than this. The mill changed hands several times until it was purchased jointly by the two colleges of St Leonards and St Salvators from the heirs of Hew Scrymgeour of Corbs in 1686. The colleges sold the mill to the town (the Burgh of St Andrews) ten years later but bought it back in 1766, by which time they were formally United College, part of St Andrews University. However, after another ten years, the mill was again sold to the town who then leased it to a succession of tenants. In 1841 the miller was Alexander Ronald (probably the son of James Ronald, the miller at Law Mill) who lived with his wife Agnes and four young children. Ten years later the occupant was the newly widowed Janet Ronald, who had been living at Law Mill. In 1866 the mill was sold to Mr Beath, the proprietor of Newpark, and milling ceased at around this time.
The gable end of Plash Mill Cottage is inscribed with the date 1658 and Historic Scotland suggest that this end of the cottage (with the lower roof) was the mill itself. Whether this building was Plash Mill, New Mill or both (as suggested by Historic Scotland) is unclear. However, the Ordnance Survey map of 1855 (only 11 years before milling stopped) clearly names the building as New Mill.
- “Plash Mill Cottage” online at Historic Scotland
- Ordnance Survey; 6″ series maps New Mill (1855) online at National Library of Scotland
- “Feu Charter, Newmill, commendator of St Andrews Priory to Allan Lamont” (1550) online at St Andrews University Archives
- R N Smart; “Notes on the Water Mills of St Andrews” (1989) in “Three Decades of Historical Notes” (ed. M Innes & J Whelan, 1991)
- “United College” online at Wikipedia
- “Census of Scotland” online at FreeCEN