In 2017, spirit started flowing once again from copper stills at Lindores Abbey, after a break of 523 years.
Learning as much as we can from the great Scottish distillers around us, past and present, and from others much further afield, we are bringing a very modern whisky-making approach to this ancient site.
Find out how we rebuilt the Distillery from the original farm buildings here at Lindores Abbey.READ MORE ABOUT THE DISTILLERY TODAY
The distillery was created by converting and enlarging the original old Abbey farm steading by Organic Architects. The glass-fronted stillroom looks directly out over the historic abbey grounds. The adjacent ruined abbey is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
We have used local materials as much as possible for the build, wood from Denmylne and stone from nearby Clatchard Quarry.
Design work on the distillery started in 2015 with a detailed site study. Before work began, we undertook extensive archaeological digs around the Abbey ruins where a wall, several bits of Medieval pottery and a 12th Century lead plumb line were discovered.Find out more
The existing farm buildings
The existing farm buildings already had attractive traditional features such as pantile and slate triple ridged roofs. These were then raised and rebuilt in crisp modern versions of the same materials with the intention of maintaining the time honoured character of the old buildings, and to work with their curious geometry.
The three sided steading is now organised into a Visitor Centre, shop, Refectory, production area and Legacy Bar. The production area was designed to be one of the most beautiful still rooms in the industry, with three bright copper pot stills overlooking the ruins of the abbey through frameless glazing.
The Cloister link leads from the Visitor Centre through to the stillroom and is fitted out to tell the story of the abbey. It has become an extraordinary function space capable of holding grand banquets for over 80 people. An arched roof is formed from new glulam columns which form a regular structure. The curve is finished externally with graphite curved zinc. The geometry of the arches is taken from Louis Kahn’s Kimbell Art Gallery – a three curve arch rather than a simple semi circle. The result is a space which echoes the existing Mother Church of Lindores Abbey at the Abbey of Thiron.
A long-held dream
The Lindores Abbey Farm was bought by Drew McKenzie Smith’s grandfather in 1913. Like his father before him, Drew now holds the title of ‘Custodian of Lindores’. Along with his wife, Helen, Drew spent two decades tirelessly researching, planning and campaigning to bring a distillery back to the grounds of Lindores Abbey.
“We very much look forward to welcoming visitors to Lindores and sharing its history with whisky-lovers from around the world” said Helen.
“We like to think we are continuing where the Tironensian Monks of Lindores left off. They were a hardworking and inclusive Order who brought their horticultural expertise from Thiron in France over to us here in Scotland. We will be using locally grown barley for our whisky and fruit from our trees just as they did, to ensure we, all of us, as Custodians of Lindores Abbey, secure its future for the next 500 years.. at least!”