THOUSANDS of pounds have been raised in a bid to restore a picturesque mill which has featured in hit television series Outlander.

Preston Mill, located on the banks of the River Tyne in East Linton, was one of the last working grain mills in east central Scotland, having been used commercially until 1959.

However, the 18th-century mill is now in need of urgent repair to its water wheel after the mechanism which allows it to turn broke over the winter months, causing it to jam in a fixed position.

The National Trust for Scotland is looking to raise £12,000 to fund the repairs – nearly £10,000 has already been raised.

A crowdfunder page has been launched to raise the funds needed to restore Preston Mill to its former glory.

Stuart Maxwell of the National Trust for Scotland said: “Unfortunately, over time, the heat from the friction of the turning axle, which allows the wheel to spin, has distorted the metal components that hold the wheel in place.

“Plans are in place to repair the wheel, but we urgently need the help of the public to raise the funds required and ensure that this spectacular piece of Scottish heritage is preserved.

“Those who visit Preston Mill can follow in Jamie Fraser’s footsteps, as well as seeing and hearing the mill in action while learning about the millers who worked there – it would be a real loss to us, the public and Scotland if we weren’t able to restore it to working order.

“We need to do all that we can to protect the places that inspire our love of Scotland, and Preston Mill is one of those places.”

In 2014, Preston Mill hosted the cast and crew of the critically-acclaimed show Outlander as they filmed some of the first season’s most pivotal scenes and used the mill as a stand-in for Lallybroch, Jamie Fraser’s (played by Sam Heughan) family home.

Given the TV show’s international popularity, the fundraising campaign will run in partnership with the National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA.

It has already garnered global attention, with an American donor from Nantucket, Massachusetts, making a substantial match funding contribution.

Barbara Beinecke Spitler says she is matching all donations made towards the repair of the mill, dollar-for-dollar, until $5,000 (£3,901.50) is reached.

As a fan of Gabaldon’s Outlander book series and a philanthropist of historic preservation, Barbara saw the donation as the perfect marriage of her two interests.

If successful in raising the total required amount of £12,000, work to repair the wheel will begin in early spring, with hopes of completion by April – in time for the property’s seasonal reopening.

To get the wheel turning again, engineers will restore the masonry pillar – which the wheel sits upon – and replace the timber bearing and metal bushes – which houses the wheel’s axle and holds it in place, allowing the wheel to turn.

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