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Historic England Research Records

Challacombe Mill

Hob Uid: 909993
Location :
North Devon
Grid Ref : SS6817040330
Summary : The remains of the mill can be seen only as re-used fabric in a cattle shed. To the rear of this, however, is a stone lined rectangular pit which is the former wheel pit. The leat survives as a dry channel for the first 300 metres but the remainder still carries water.
More information : The OS first edition 25" mapping of 1889 (1) bears the descriptor "Challacombe Mill" applied to the group of buildings at SS 68104037; to the east "Corn Mill" is applies. A building is depicted here with a leat, head race and tail race issuing from the building back into the River Bray. (1)

At SS 68164 40332 is a cattle shed which is composed os a mixture os stone and concrete block walling. The stone walling appears to represent part of the fabric of the former mill, although nothing diagnostic survives. However, on the north-eastern side of the building is a stone-lined rectangular pit adjoining its back wall. It is 6.2m in length 2.3m wide and 1.4m deep. It is presumably the wheel-pit of the former mill.

The leat arrangment for the mill survives largely intact. The head leat (440m in length) can be traced from its origin at SS 68594035. Some 11.5m from the bank of the River Bray are the remains of sluice gates presumably to shut off the leat. They consist of a pair of stone piers projecting from withre side of the leat. They measure 1.7m wide, 1.2m deep and are 0.85m high. Each has a slot to accommodate the former sluice gate.

The leat is now dry for its first 300m although its course can be clearly traced as an earthwork cutting (up to 1.2m high) along the hillside with a corresponding embankment (0.8m high) on its lower side.

The final 140m of the leat still carries water and is fed from a natural spring.

Remains of a by-pass channel are still visible, and carry water, to the east of the mill, and traces of walling and a stone-lined aperture at its upper end indicate the position of sluice gates.

The final few metres of the leat are now dry. Where it meets the former back wall of the mill building, a pair of edge set stones are visible on either side. They are 0.9m and 0.5m long, 0.45m high and 0.1m thick. They may be associated with either a sluice arrangment or with laundering. The end of the leat is some 5m to the east of the probable wheel pit. How water was transferred from it to the wheel is unclear.

The tail leat still survives over most of its length, although its channel seems to have been recut in recent times. However, near the former mill site it has been completely lost under a track and yard. (2)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS first edition 25" mapping 1889 Devonshire sheet X 3
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Source Number : 2
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Wilson-North WR 13-OCT-93, RCHME Field Investigation
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Post Medieval
Monument End Date : 1901
Monument Start Date : 1540
Monument Type : Mill, Leat, Wheel Pit
Evidence : Architectural Component, Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : SS64SE169
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : SS64SE129
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : SS64SE170
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 64 SE 50
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: WEST EXMOOR PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31