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HER Number:MDV1134
Name:Shobrooke Mill, Shobrook, Mid Devon


There are documentary references to watermills in Shobrooke from 1571 to 1867. In 1824 the mill is described as having three pairs of millstones, two water wheels and a dressing mill. The internal machinery has now been removed but the remains of an overshot waterwheel survive. Recorded as Toe Mills on the Tithe Map and also on the first and second edition Ordnance Survey maps.


Grid Reference:SS 869 001
Map Sheet:SS80SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishShobrooke
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSHOBROOKE

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS80SE/11
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • WATERMILL (Burnt down, XVI to XIX - 1501 AD to 1900 AD (Between))
  • WATERMILL (XIX - 1900 AD to 1900 AD)

Full description

Devon County Council, 1838-1848, Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848 (Cartographic). SDV349431.

Group of buildings marked as MILL. Recorded as Toe Mill on the apportionment, with plot 284 comprising Mill and Courtlage.

Davidson, J. B., 1878, On Some Ancient Documents Relating to Credition Minster, 253 (Monograph). SDV45658.

Shobrooke mill, also known as Toe Mills?

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

Toe Mills (Corn) marked.

Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

Toe Mills marked.

Child, P. C., 1988, Shobrooke Mill (Personal Comment). SDV45660.

Photos and plan of Shobrooke Mill have been submitted.

Bodman, M., 1998, Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 5.36 (Report - non-specific). SDV305931.

Bodman, M., 2003, Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 34 (Report - Interim). SDV325576.

Documentary references to mills in Shobrooke from 1571 to 1867. In 1824, according to an advert in the Exeter Flying Post, Shobrooke Mills contained three pairs of millstones, two water wheels and a dressing mill.

Bodman, M., 2005, Email to S. Watts (Correspondence). SDV322212.

The mill, of brick, stands below a public footpath with the shrouds of an overshot waterwheel just visible. The wheel, about 14 feet diameter, of timber and iron construction, is in a very dilapidated state. The interior has apparently been gutted of machinery. Beyond the mill building is an older stone and cob barn with outshut linhay. The mill house stands above the path.

Ordnance Survey, 2014, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV355681.

Shorbrooke Mill Farm marked.

Watts, M., 2018, Shobrooke Mill, Shobrooke (Report - Survey). SDV361544.

This report has been compiled at the request of the property owner, to record the historic fabric which will be affected by the proposed conversion of a former corn mill and adjoining agricultural buildings to domestic use.

The mill was owned by the Fulford and Tuckfield families of Fulford Manor, later Shobrooke Court, for much of its working life. The earliest clear map evidence that shows the layout of the buildings is the Shobrooke tithe map of 1841. Shown as Toe Mills on 1888 OS map.

The mill is of two storeys with a loft. The mill is recorded historically as a grist (corn) and flour mill and in 1824 had two waterwheels driving three pairs of millstones and other machinery for making flour. There is no visible evidence of a second wheelshaft opening in the pit wall at Shobrooke Mill, however, although this detail may have been lost during a rebuilding phase. The brick-lined circular opening for the last generation of waterwheel shaft can certainly not be considered as an original feature. In December 1898 the mill was destroyed by fire, and shortly after rebuilt. The waterwheel appears to pre-date the fire; its timber wheelshaft may well have been that fitted with the gudgeon recorded in the Bodley papers in 1867.

The threshold of the ground floor doorway is formed with half a millstone. An interesting feature is the use of concrete roof tiles. These were developed in Germany in the mid 19th century and machinery for their manufacture came to England in the 1890s (Dobson 1959, 52). The non-interlocking tiles laid diamond-wise appear to be an early type, perhaps dating from the rebuild of the mill immediately after the fire in 1898, to provide a fireproof roofing material.

Department of Environment, 30/11/1984, Shobrooke, 35 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV45659.

Shobrooke mill. Probably 18th century with 19th and 20th century additions. Roughcast cob on rubble footings. Cob or stone stacks topped with brick. Thatched roof and 20th century slate roof to rear outshut. Two storey main block with three room ground plan. Axial stack. Rear outshuts. Four window front of 19th century/20th century timber three-lights per frame, three panes per light, with main door left of centre under open, slate-roofed porch on curved brackets.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV305931Report - non-specific: Bodman, M.. 1998. Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 5.36.
SDV322212Correspondence: Bodman, M.. 2005. Email to S. Watts.
SDV325576Report - Interim: Bodman, M.. 2003. Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 34.
SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV349431Cartographic: Devon County Council. 1838-1848. Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Map. Digital.
SDV355681Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2014. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV361544Report - Survey: Watts, M.. 2018. Shobrooke Mill, Shobrooke. Martin Watts. SMS257. Digital.
SDV45658Monograph: Davidson, J. B.. 1878. On Some Ancient Documents Relating to Credition Minster. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 10. A5 Hardback. 253.
SDV45659List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 30/11/1984. Shobrooke. Historic Houses Register. 35.
SDV45660Personal Comment: Child, P. C.. 1988. Shobrooke Mill.

Associated Monuments

MDV122697Related to: Barn, Shobrooke Mill (Building)
MDV100985Related to: Cider House, Shobrooke Mill (Building)
MDV122698Related to: Store, Shobrooke Mill (Building)
MDV88511Related to: The Mill, Shobrooke Mill Farm (Building)
MDV122688Related to: Threshing Barn, Shobrooke Mill (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7581 - Historic Building Recording: Shobrooke Mill, Shobrooke, Devon (Ref: SMS257)

Date Last Edited:Oct 3 2018 6:02PM