Fairydean Mill

Black Barony



EH45 8QW

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The Story of Fairydean ........


Your hosts at Fairydean Mill are David and Mandi; they first spotted Fairydean Mill, a derelict and long abandoned building, some foureteen years ago.

 The property was for sale with four days left before closure and in a moment of what they came to know was 'madness' they put in an offer.  

Fate took a hand and much to their surprise they found themselves owners of a crumbling listed old mill building with permission to build a studio/workshop from where they could continue to make Wedding Cakes  and build a family home.

Unfortunately things did not go smoothly.

Many months (indeed years) of angst followed, including being abandoned by two building firms together with just about ever other possible set back.

David, Mandi and Pippin the Dalmatian

Keith Orr


They were just about running out of hope.....


when thanks to being third time lucky they finally found a highly reputable builder in 2011. 

There were a lot of sharp intakes of breath and slow shaking of the head when Keith Orr, of Renwick and Weir, first looked round the sorry, half-finished and badly botched job; but he rose to the challenge.

After many months of remedial work Keith's team of professional joiners, plasterers and builders transformed absolute chaos into order.




Best Laid Plans ....


Of course behind every great builder there has to be an Architect of considerable repute.  

Keith recommended Andrew Davidson and we could not have found anyone more helpful or efficient.

Drew's a great name for an Architect, and he is a great Architect.   Plans were drawn up in record time and with every little detail corrected and perfected we were finally able to  satisfy our local Planning Authority.   It also didn't cost us a proverbial 'arm and a leg'.


Drew Davidson - Architect for Fairydean Mill

Ronnie Walters

Water works ....


Keith also recommended Ronnie Walters who finally puzzled out the mysterious labyrinth of pipe-work left by two previous plumbers, not to mention the almost magical concept of bore holes and complicated filtration systems, for which he probably deserves a medal.


Ronnie skilfully laid our under floor heating and despite the fact we found it it a bit of a mystery to start with he finally taught us how to manage our temperature controls. 


It's good to know we can always call him if we have a problem and he'll be along at the drop of a spanner.


Lick of Paint ....


We were also fortunate to find DAVID MITCHELL, a Peebles based decorating company established in 1790.  


Ian Thorburn and team did a terrific job of painting the house, so much so that they were occasionally rewarded with freshly baked cupcakes.


Kirsty Smith

Finishing touches ......


Many people helped make Fairydean Mill come true and, of course, it is still a work in progress.



Family member Kirsty Smith made a terrific job of repairing the antique Dining Room Chairs and as a talented interior designer offered many helpful suggestions on choosing blinds and room decor.


and Outside .....



There are some outstanding trees in the area and to prune the venerable yews and suggest a replanting plan to replace dangerous and unstable conifers we were lucky enough to find Bill and Elayne Hogarth of Oakwood Tree Care.  


Bill's climbing, pruning and felling skills were awesome and, on  occasions,  terrifying........



Bill Hogarth

Elayne Hogarth

Behind every 'fella' .........


Bill's wife Elayne sourced a selection of mature birch, weeping birch, yews and acers to start off the regeneration programme and planting started in 2012.

A work in progress....

Of course it may never be finished - there are further dreams and plans for the garden but time has now changed; there are too many woods to explore, deer and badgers to spot and changing seasons to savour.


Pippin the Fairydean Dalmatian

and almost finally ... Pippin

During your visit you might 'spot' a flurry of black and white disappearing into the distance.   This will be 'Pip' on one of her many daily forays into the woods.  

Mandi has waited twenty long years to replace her last beloved Dalmatian, but it was worth the wait.

Pippin likes to keep a low profile and is very respectful of B&B visitors but she is also extremely sociable and would love to meet you, if you happen to be a fellow Dalmatian lover.

and then came Luna...

Pippin has been so wonderful Mandi hoped she might have puppies but she turned out to be far too much of a lady. So, in a moment of madness, Luna 'the lunatic' came to Fairydean in 2018.

A third Dalmatian is not planned..... well, not officially!