Penpont Heritage Centre


We had a lovely walk last Sunday (23rd July 2017) around Keir Village led by Hugh Buck, our secretary. Around 12 people came on the walk which started from the Village Hall, going down the road to the Smithy at Courthill where Kirkpatrick Macmillan invented the bicycle. 

On to Scaurbank where we saw the old stables and the biggest horse shoe we've ever seen. We were impressed with Hugh and Caroline's garden; Hugh said he has seen over 50 species of birds in the garden (not all at one time!).

We then went down the bank on to the riverside walk. The Scaur was well up after the rain of the previous day. We met Maurice who lives in Keir and in his spare time is repairing parts of the path - and making a good job of it.


From the riverside path we came out at the metal Bridge. Rumour has it that it could have been made with leftover steel from the Forth Railway Bridge but we cannot confirm. Hugh informed us that Daubenton's Bats roost under the bridge.

The walk then went up the hill to the old manse. This house had been extended, then the extension demolished and then another extension built on. The grounds are lovely with some very old trees. We then went onto the old Cemetry where Kirkpatrick Macmillan is buried. The oldest grave dates back to the 1640s. The cemetry is somewhat overgrown at the moment. We met a chap from Hampshire who was investigating his family history and had discovered a number of his ancestors graves. The ones lying on the ground covered with moss were the best preserved and he gleaned a lot of information from them.

Onward to the old Mill where Robin and Margaret Thomson were waiting along with Janet Brown, who's grandfather had been the miller here. Janet could remember visiting when she was about 7 years old but was never allowed in the mill. Her grandfather retired in 1943 when milling was stopped and then they dried pine cones to extract the seed. Margaret Thomson told us the seed was sent to Norway to re-forest the country after the war. 

Robin told us how the mill was when they bought it in the early 1980s. It looked as though it had been built with stone from other buildings. The waterwheel has long since gone but Robin was able to tell us that it had been an overhead feed with the water being channeled over the wheel. Robin and Margaret have made a wonderful job of the converting the mill into a lovely family house with an amazing garden surrounding it.

The group then went across to the church. We were able to get inside for a look even though there was scaffolding in two-thirds of it enabling the repair to the ceiling. Even with all the rubble and dust, members of the walk shared many happy memories of when the church was functional.

The walk ended back at the village hall where afternoon tea was laid on. Janet and her husband Watson as well as Robin and Margaret joined us. Computers from the JT House showed photos etc from a presentation prepared by Sophia Harkness, Chairperson along with some other information.

The afternoon was hailed as a success and people who were unable to attend have asked if we will do it again. Of course we will!

Maureen Halkett




The Centre will continue to open on Saturdays and Sundays, 2.00pm to 4.00pm until the 1st October 2017.  Click here to contact us.



We are pleased to have the Joseph Thomson Maasai Trust and the Olakira Le Maa Trust join our website. These new pages are: 

JT Maasai Trust

The Walk

The Olakira Le Maa Trust



 If you are looking for any heritage information please do not hesitate to contact us by clicking here.


EVENT!  Please check our Forthcoming Events page to learn about the Joseph Thomson Maasai Trust Hill Run on 2nd September 2018.


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