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Historic England Research Records

East Weir

Hob Uid: 926193
Location :
Devon
North Devon
Lynton and Lynmouth
Grid Ref : SS7240449910
Summary : A tidal fish-weir, reportedly still in use, is visible as a structure revetted earthwork on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards.
More information : SS 7238 4994. East Weir, a tidal fish trap or weir, annotated "Salmon Pool" on the 1904 map (1), lies betwen high and low water marks on the boulder strewn Eastern Beach at Lynmouth. It is formed by a V-shaped fence of upright timber poles 1.7m high interwoven with branches. This hurdling is consolidated by a wall at its base constructed of stones. The V points NW out to sea; its W side is 60m long and its N side is 45m long. At the point of the V is a concrete and stone sluice with a wooden gate. The whole is in a somewhat dilapidated condition and appars to be abandoned but, according to local sources (2) it is repaired and used annually. (1-3)

This coastal fish weir of possible medieval or post-medieval origin can be seen on aerial photographs as a timber revetted earthwork on the foreshore at Lynmouth bay, centred on circa SS 72384993 and has been transcribed as part of the Exmoor National Park National Mapping Programme Survey.
The weir, or trap, can be seen as an inverted V shape, the point of the V facing north-west, 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.
The weir is clearly visible on aerial photographs of 1946 onwards as the timber structure mentioned above, set as revetment into what appears to be an earthwork base, but may be a wall as described.
The structure when in use is probably repaired annually, but the original structure may date to the medieval period or earlier; similar structures elsewhere in Europe have been demonstrated to have been in use since the Mesolithic and the earliest examples in the UK have been found on the Isle of Wight and dated to the later Bronze age.
Similar timber structural elements are also visible on West Weir and the numerous weirs recently recorded in Porlock Bay. (4-5)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1904 1:2500 Devon Sheet 3:9
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Source Number : 2
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Young S, 19 Park Gardens, Lynton, North Devon (Pers. Comm.)
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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 : Fish Weir, Coastal 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 : Coastal Fish Weir, Fish Weir, Fish Trap
Evidence : Structure, Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : SS74NW63
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 18005
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : HER Number (Exmoor National Park)
External Cross Reference Number : MDE11716
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 74 NW 58
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 926186
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