I went out for a long (for me) cycle today, and whilst out I came across this place. This is Kennetpans, the oldest commercial whisky distillery in the world.
The distillery appears to have been opened in the 1730s by one John Stein. In the 1770s Stien’s brother James opened the nearby Kilbagie distillery, and the first railway line in Scotland was built to connect the Kilbagie distillery with the harbour here at Kennetpans. The two distilleries were linked by one of the first canals in Scotland, and the distillery ordered Scotland’s first Boulton and Watt steam engine.
At one point the duty paid by these two distilleries alone was greater than all the land tax collected in Scotland. However, excessive duty and an outright ban on exports of whisky to England brought ruin to the distilleries. Kilbagie has been demolished, and the Kennetpans property is falling into a desperate state of disrepair.
A campaign exists to save the distillery, with lots of interesting information about their history. Check out http://www.kennetpans.info/ for more information.