Howietoun Fishery was established by Sir James Maitland in 1881. Within the original Grain Mill is a commemorative window dedicated to Sir James.
In the 1870s, Sir James, on whose estate Sauchiemill stood, began scientific trials into trout breeding and rearing to create what became an internationally renowned and pioneering fishery. At nearby Milnholm, fish were bred in the hatchery and reared in the numerous ponds at Howietoun. Through scientific experimentation, Sir James, who has been dubbed the father of scientific aquaculture, pioneered fish farming techniques and set the standard for modern fish farming. He successfully overcame the difficulties in packing and transporting live ova so that by the 1880s, millions of ova were being produced and exported to as far afield as Australia and New Zealand.
In 1979 Howietoun Fishery, Milnholm Hatchery and Sauchiemill were bought by the Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling primarily for the practical training of students as well as maintaining a commercial enterprise.
The overall site extends to about 27 acres which is divided into two distinct areas. On the site plan, the red zone extends to about 12.86 acres and not only includes the historic fish ponds but also a number of A and B listed buildings. The listing also includes the perimeter railings.
Within this zone is the B listed Grain Mill which is stone built with a slate roof. It extends to about 163 m2. There are a number of internal rooms and the upper mezzanine floor is accessed by a timber staircase.
The A listed buildings include the former Mincing House (4.14m x 2.61m), Dispatch House and the Hatching House together with the now derelict Summer House located in the centre of one of the ponds.
1 and 3 Sauchiemill Cottages originally formed three cottages but now only accommodate two dwellings. There are in an extremely poor condition and will require extensive renovation. The Cottages are not listed. It is roughly estimated that the whole building extends to about 288 m2.
There are further outbuildings which related to the Fishery spread over this zone.
The blue zone noted on the site plan extends to about 14.08 acres. Although not within the listing, this is the location of the more modern fish ponds which were formed by the University to accommodate the education purpose of the Fishery. Also located in this zone is a traditionally constructed Store House which has wet dash render and a pitch slated roof.
Sauchiemill lies in beautiful rural countryside about 4 miles to the south west of the historic town of Stirling which sits on the banks of the River Forth. It is the gateway to the spectacular scenery of the Trossachs and beyond. Once the capital of Scotland, Stirling is dominated by the Castle. The area is steeped in history with the sites of the battles of Stirling Bridge and Bannockburn close by.
Modern Stirling enjoys a variety of shopping facilities and professional services, together with a number of sports and leisure amenities. The town also provides educational requirements at both primary and secondary level, whilst Stirling University lies to the north of the town.
Stirling town centre is well placed for access to major motorways, as the area is served by the M9 and M876 motorways along with the A9 which gives access to Perth and the north. A mainline railway station provides rail links to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth and beyond while a bus station is located in the town centre, making this location ideal for commuters.