Before it was dismantled in 1997, Littlemill could claim to be the oldest surviving licensed distillery in Scotland. It was established by 1772, when a house was built on site for the resident excise officer, but may have been operating since the 1750's, when it is mentioned in estate papers.
Largely destroyed by fire in 2004, it stood at Bowling on the River Clyde, an eminently practical site, since Bowling is the Western entrance to the Forth and Clyde Canal (completed 1790) which connects the west coast with the east.
Hilariously, Alfred Barnard, who visited the site in the mid-1880's, enthusiastically describes its situation as “abounding in charming landscapes not unlike Richmond on the River Thames. The quiet beauty of the hill slopes and wooded plantations, the hedges covered with summer roses, and the numerous mountain rills, has made this place a favourite resort of artists…” How times have changed: the area is now an extensive housing estate.