The Salmon Viewing Centre

Salmon jumping the cauld at Philiphaugh, Scottish Borders

The salmon is known the world over as the King of the fishes, and the Ettrick River in the Scottish Borders is home to some of the finest salmon you will ever see.

The life of a salmon is one of endurance and danger – a female will swim hundreds of miles every year, battling her way through strong currents to reach just the right spot in the river to lay her 5,000 eggs. Join us as we take you on the adventure of a salmon’s lifetime.

The salmon is known the world over as the King of the fishes, and the Ettrick River in the Scottish Borders is home to some of the finest salmon you will ever see.

The life of a salmon is one of endurance and danger – a female will swim hundreds of miles every year, battling her way through strong currents to reach just the right spot in the river to lay her 5,000 eggs. Join us as we take you on the adventure of a salmon’s lifetime.

A cauld or dam was constructed across the River Ettrick in 1854 by Sir John Murray of Philiphaugh. The dam forced water through a sluice gate down a mill lade and this water turned a waterwheel at the sawmill and farm. One turn of the wheel turned the saw 50 times. The wheel also powered a threshing mill at the farm.

In 1874 the mill lade was extended nearly to Selkirk and a tweed mill was built by the Roberts Brothers and this too was water powered. When the river is high enough you will see the waterwheel slowly turning.

The cauld is a short walk along the recently constructed flood bank, which runs parallel to the old mill lade. The cauld now provides the perfect site for a hydro power station.

You will see two massive Archimedes Screw turbines slowly turning. The turbines are connected through a gearbox to a generator and produce some 900,000 kwh of electricity per year. This would power 200 homes.

You will see two massive Archimedes Screw turbines slowly turning. The turbines are connected through a gearbox to a generator and produce some 900,000 kwh of electricity per year. This would power 200 homes.

The Waterwheel and Sawmill

The salmon is known the world over as the King of the fishes, and the Ettrick River in the Scottish Borders is home to some of the finest salmon you will ever see.

The life of a salmon is one of endurance and danger – a female will swim hundreds of miles every year, battling her way through strong currents to reach just the right spot in the river to lay her 5,000 eggs. Join us as we take you on the adventure of a salmon’s lifetime.

More to see and do...