Penpont Heritage Centre


The Parish of Keir stretches from Glenmidge in the South to the outskirts of Penpont in the North. Primarily an argicultural area, its population of just over 300 is widely dispersed apart from the two hamlets of Glenmidge and Keir Mill.  Of these, Keir Mill is the largest.  Its name probably comes from the Celtic "Caer" meaning fortress, although it is hard to now see where the original fort was, and "Mill" from the local grain mill which was built in 1717 for use by local farmers. This mill was powered by a large water wheel fed by an elaborate system of stream channelling bringing water from the Penfillan Burn to the mill. Left derelict for many years, it has now been sympathetically converted into a domestic dwelling. The marks of the old water wheel are still visible on the side of the house.

In the 1950's Keir Mill still had an active School, Church and Shop but sadly these have all gone. The Church and School have been re-located to Penpont, and the Shop has been converted into a family home. the School Building was brought by the local community in the 1970's and, as the Village Hall, has become the focal point of the Parish with many activities taking place in it.

Perhaps Keir Mill's greatest claim to fame is as the home of Kirkpatrick McMillan - the inventor of the first bicycle. Courthill Smithy, where he lived and built his bike, lies just outside the hamlet leading towards Penpont and has become a Mecca for cyclists from home and abroad. His grave can be found in the Old Cemetery located below the Manse. It is signposted and well worth a visit.


If you would like to make a donation to the group, please click here to contact us. Thankyou.



The Centre will open for the 2017 season at East weekend, Saturday 15 April and will be open Saturdays and Sundays thereafter until the end of September. If you wish to come to the centre at other times, we are very happy to arrange a suitable time. Click here to contact us.



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

EVENT! We are organising a nature and history walk around Keir on Sunday 23 July 2017, starting from the Village Hall at 1.20pm. This walk is being led by Hugh Buck, who is the secretary of the Group, ably supported by Sophia Harkness. The walk will go down to Courthill, along to Scaurbank and back to Keir along the river. If you want you can join the walk in Keir. There should be some interesting information. We will return to the Hall for afternoon tea and a look at some photos, old and new of Keir. Donations to assist in the running of the Local Heritage Centre will be gratefully received. Come along. If you want to book a place, please contact Sophia on 01848 330411, Hugh on 01848 330933 or Maureen on 01848 331529. You can contact us by e-mail by clicking here.


Group Bookings

We welcome individuals, groups and school parties. Please contact us to arrange your booking.

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Become a Friend

Become a Friend

Would you like to help this Centre continue and flourish?

If YES you could:

1. Become a member.

2. Donate/loan materials to our archives.

3. Help fund running costs by becoming a friend.

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