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HER Number:MDV102610
Name:Weir at head of leat to Huckworthy Mill, Walkhampton

Summary

Weir constructed across the River Walkham north-east of the mill at Huckworthy. Documentary evidence indicates this weir may date back to the 16th century, although it is unclear to what extent the original fabric survives. The weir was damaged in the late 19th century and repaired, which involved substantial rebuilding of parts of the structure.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 538 713
Map Sheet:SX57SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishSampford Spiney
Civil ParishWalkhampton
DistrictWest Devon

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • WEIR (XVI to XIX - 1578 AD? to 1840 AD)

Full description

Morley Estate, 1578, Licence to construct and maintain a weir, PWDRO 69/M/2/581 (Record Office Collection). SDV349977.

The weir across the River Walkham is first referred to in an indenture from 1578, in which permission was granted to: Jerome Mayhowe of Boringdon and Nicholas Slanning of Bickleigh to construct and maintain a weir at Byklym Wood alias Buckym Wood (now Bicklime Wood) in the water called the Walkham for his mill at Hokeford Bridge (Huckworthy).


Maristow Estate, 1831, Maristow Estate Map (Cartographic). SDV349978.

A Maristow estate map of 1831 shows an area of land immediately to the east of the weir being called Head Ware Meadow.


1840, Tithe Map (Cartographic). SDV339770.

The weir is indicated on the Sampford Spiney Tithe Map (but not the Walkhampton version), firmly dating it to at least the mid 19th century.


Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

"Weir" is depicted on the late 19th century Ordnance Survey map.


District Inspector of Fisheries, Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Department, 1930-1931, Tamar and Plym: Walkham, Woodtown Weir fish-pass, MAF 41/1029 C209514 (Record Office Collection). SDV349976.

This weir was partly destroyed some 40 years ago, and when rebuilt was strengthened by railway rails on the downstream site and from observation it has been seen that many salmon which do not succeed in getting over fall back on these rails and cut themselves badly. Below the weir is a formation of rock which would lend itself easily to this formation of a pool, and it is proposed, by the erection of some short bits of wall, to effect this and so decrease the height of the jump.


Dartmoor National Park Authority, 2011-2012, 0645/11 Installation of a new fish-pass on existing weir on the River Walkham, Huckworthy Mill, Sampford Spiney (Planning Application). SDV349979.

A number of comments received from local objectors to this proposal have indicated that the Ordnance Survey base mapping is not accurate for this site – both that the river is not actually as wide as indicated on the base mapping and that the weir is not depicted in quite the correct position (it should be shown slightly north of where the base mapping depicts it).


Dartmoor National Park Authority, 2012, 0510/12 - Installation of hydro-electric generating system, fish pass and repair of the existing leat (Planning Application). SDV350928.

A revised planning proposal for the site submitted with a structural report and an archaeological report commissioned by the applicant was granted consent in November 2012. A large number of objections to the proposal were recorded.


Gaskell Brown, C. + Andrew, S., 2012, Huckworthy Weir, River Walkham, Devon. Archaeology and Documentary History (Report - Assessment). SDV363158.

Report detailing the history of the weir, reviewing documentary and physical evidence.


Ordnance Survey, 2012, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV348725.

Weir is indicated on the modern mapping but the position is not quite correct. The width of the river at this point is also overestimated on the base mapping.


English Heritage, 2012, Weir across the River Walkham near Huckworthy (Report - Assessment). SDV349975.

A weir across the River Walkham is first referred to in an indenture from 1578, in which permission was granted to erect a weir to provide water, via a leat, for a mill which was planned near to Huckworthy Bridge (a 19th century mill still stands on this location). In 1890 a flash flood damaged the west side of the weir and this section was subsequently rebuilt soon afterwards. It is not clear to what extent the weir had been repaired or rebuilt before this work. The weir lies across the River Walkham, orientated south-east to north-west.
The south-east side of the weir is constructed of granite boulders which form a series of stepped ledges; some of the boulders are bound together with iron straps. At the top of the weir the boulders form a plateau approximately 2.0 meters wide and this is topped by a dressed granite-stone crest.
The west side was rebuilt in the late 19th century and is a timber, metal and stone construction. It is on two levels and formed of a granite ledge (likely to be, in part, a continuation of the original granite crest) and large sloping stone slabs. There is a granite sluice on the east bank of the river which feeds the leat leading down to Huckworthy Mill. It consists of a crossing stone over the channel and two stoplogs with iron bolts and grooves in the stonework, which would have housed the sluice gate (no longer extant).
Decision taken against Listing due to the damage and subsequent rebuilding in the late 19th century which has caused the weir to lose a significant amount of its original fabric. It is however, clearly of local interest, particularly given the evidence that a weir has existed on this site since the late 16th century and is associated with the mill site to the south.


Wright, J. + Price, C., jan/Feb2013, Correspondent, 62 (Article in Serial). SDV357495.

Despite reasoned opposition Huckworthy Weir is set to be developed, destroying its 16th century components.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV339770Cartographic: 1840. Tithe Map. Tithe Map and Apportionment. Map (Paper).
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
SDV349975Report - Assessment: English Heritage. 2012. Weir across the River Walkham near Huckworthy. English Heritage. 471890. Digital.
SDV349976Record Office Collection: District Inspector of Fisheries, Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Department. 1930-1931. Tamar and Plym: Walkham, Woodtown Weir fish-pass. The National Archive. Unknown. MAF 41/1029 C209514.
SDV349977Record Office Collection: Morley Estate. 1578. Licence to construct and maintain a weir. Plymouth and West Devon Record Office. Unknown. PWDRO 69/M/2/581.
SDV349978Cartographic: Maristow Estate. 1831. Maristow Estate Map. Unknown.
SDV349979Planning Application: Dartmoor National Park Authority. 2011-2012. 0645/11 Installation of a new fish-pass on existing weir on the River Walkham, Huckworthy Mill, Sampford Spiney. Dartmoor National Park Planning Authority. Digital.
SDV350928Planning Application: Dartmoor National Park Authority. 2012. 0510/12 - Installation of hydro-electric generating system, fish pass and repair of the existing leat. Dartmoor National Park Planning Authority. Digital.
SDV357495Article in Serial: Wright, J. + Price, C.. jan/Feb2013. Correspondent. British Archaeology Magazine. 128. Newspaper/Magazine Article. 62.

Associated Monuments

MDV21295Related to: Huckworthy Mill House (Building)
MDV80536Related to: Huckworthy Mill Leat (Monument)
MDV102861Related to: Pair of weirs south-west of Huckworthy Bridge (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Aug 5 2019 3:36PM