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Historic England Research Records

West Weir

Hob Uid: 926186
Location :
Devon
North Devon
Lynton and Lynmouth
Grid Ref : SS7200549941
Summary : The remains of a fish-weir of probable medieval or post-medieval is visible on aerial photographs as an earthwork reveted structure on the foreshore of Lynmouth Bay. The weir, or trap, can be seen as an inverted V shape, the point of the V facing out to sea. As the tide ebbed, the shape of the structure acted as a funnel, trapping fish within a basket or net at the apex of the structure.
More information : foreshoreSS 7199 4997. This feature possibly a reused fish-weir lies between high and low water marks on the boulder-strewn Western Beach at Lynmouth. It is formed by V-shaped walling, about 1.5m high and 2m wide at its base, made of stones from the shore and consolidated by concrete. The 'V' points northwards out to sea, its W wall is 60m long and its E wall 70m long. It is shown on the 1887 survey (1) (annotated West Weir) with a break central to its E wall, so it was probably out of use by then. By 1904 (2) it is shown in use with the annotation 'Bathing Pool'. The point of the V is now breached, and the ends of the walls have been extended laterally in a long southern arm connecting it to the esplanade. At low tide it is left some 3/4 full and, although now somewhat dilapidated, it is still used as a bathing pool.

Its situation and similarity to East Weir, (some 300m away to the E on Eastern Beach, which is annotated Salmon Pool on the 1904 map), suggest that it was also originally used as a fish weir or trap. (1-3)

This coastal fish weir of possible medieval or post-medieval date can be seen on aerial photographs as a timber revetted earthwork on the foreshore at Lynmouth bay, and has been transcribed as part of the Exmoor National Park National Mapping Programme Survey.
The water filled triangular structure in use as a bathing pool, and associated `lateral extension' described above, are clearly visible on aerial photographs of 1946 onwards, and have not been transcribed. However, additional structures probably of timber can also be seen on the seaward side of the pool. These are most likely evidence of several phases of use and repair to the weir and have been transcribed extending some 80 metres southwards from the apex of the weir.
The weir, or fish trap, can be seen as as an inverted V shape, the point of the V facing out to sea. As the tide ebbed, the shape of the structure acted as a funnel, trapping fish within a basket or net at the apex of the weir.
Similar timber structural elements are also visible on East Weir, and the numerous weirs recently recorded in Porlock Bay.
Similar structures elsewhere in Europe have been demonstrated to have been in use since the Mesolithic. The earliest examples in the UK have been found on the Isle of Wight and dated to the later Bronze age. (4-6)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1887 6" Devon Sheet 3:SW
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Source Number : 2
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1904 1:2500 Devon Sheet 3:9
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Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Sainsbury I S, 29-OCT-93, RCHME Field Investigation
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Source Number : 4
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 106G/UK/1655 F20 3151-2 11-JUL-1946
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Source Number : 5
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR OS/72065 026-027 15-APR-1972
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Source Number : 6
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Strachan, D. 1997 Dating of some inter-tidal fish-weirs in the Blackwater estuary. Blackwater Estuary Management Plan (BEMP) Area Archaeological Project: Report No.1. RCHME & Essex County Council
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Medieval
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Coastal Fish Weir, Fish Weir, Fish Trap
Evidence : Earthwork, Structure
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Post Medieval
Monument End Date : 1901
Monument Start Date : 1540
Monument Type : Fish Weir, Coastal Fish Weir, Pool, Fish Trap
Evidence : Structure, Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : SS74NW62
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 18004
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : HER Number (Exmoor National Park)
External Cross Reference Number : MDE11714
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 74 NW 57
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 926193
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2007-04-01
End Date : 2009-07-01