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HER Number:MDV1505
Name:Coldharbour Mill, Uffculme


Coldharbour Mill is first referred to as a paper mill in 1707. It was rebuilt as a grist mill after a flood in 1753. The site was taken over by Thomas Fox, a woollen manufacturer in 1797 who erected a new three storey factory on the site. Water power was used initially but a steam engine was installed in 1865. The factory closed in 1981. The site now a working museum. The grist mill now houses shop and tea room. The waterwheel on the side of main factory building dates from 1821.


Grid Reference:ST 061 121
Map Sheet:ST01SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishUffculme
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishUFFCULME

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: ST01SE10
  • National Monuments Record: ST01SE10
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: ST01SE/3
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*)
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: ST01SE15

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • WOOLLEN MILL (Built, XVIII - 1797 AD to 1797 AD)

Full description

Lysons, D. + Lysons, S., 1822, Magna Britannica. Devonshire, 539 (Monograph). SDV323771.

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

Large irregular shaped building shown as 'Worsted Mill' on 1880s-1890s 25 inch Ordnance Survey map.

Shorter, A. H., 1947-1949, Paper Mills in Devon and Cornwall, 197 (Article in Serial). SDV85084.

Woods Paper Mill, earliest reference 1707, was probbly on the site of the factory at Coldharbour.

Shorter, A. H., 1950, The Historical Geography of the Paper Making Industry in Devon, 1684-1950, 201 (Article in Serial). SDV122239.

Woods Paper Mill at Uffculme is known to have been in operation between 1707 and 1753.

Cook, R. M. L., 1973, Fourth Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee (Article in Serial). SDV339062.

Coldharbour Mill has a waterwheel capable of devleoping 60 horsepower. It is a spinning mill and has two very large horizontal steam engines.

Minchinton, W. E., 1976, Industrial Archaeology in Devon, 18 (Monograph). SDV7016.

At Fox Brothers, Uffculme is a Pollet engine of rather late date, 1911.

Booker, F., 1978, The Buildings of Industry, 48 (Article in Monograph). SDV339063.

Fox Brothers' Coldharbour Mill is probably the last remaining steam driven woolllen mill in the west of England.

Phillips, M. C. + Wilson, R. E., 1979, Water Mills in East Devon, Part X, 119 (Article in Serial). SDV34064.

Worked by the Fox family in the 19th century.

Unknown, 1982, Coldharbour Mill (Leaflet). SDV339064.

Paper mill from early 18th century to 1753 when it was rebuilt as a grist mill after a flood. Purchased by Thomas Fox of Wellington in 1797. He added brick and stone building for manufacture of serge, flannel and worsted yard. Fox brother's business closed in April 1981 and the mill was converted by a trust into a working wool museum, which opened in 1982.

Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, 1982, Mills Index (Un-published). SDV12998.

Now restored and working as a museum.

Timms, S. C., 1983, Coldharbour Mill (Personal Comment). SDV339065.

Much of the machinery (some in working order) and mill fittings have been left in situ in the new museum. Large brick chimney also survives. It remains an impressive complex of mill buildings.

Griffith, F. M., 1986, DAP/GY, 1,2 (Aerial Photograph). SDV339068.

Cracknell, L., 1988, Coldharbour Mill, 66-70 (Article in Monograph). SDV337808.

Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 878 (Monograph). SDV325629.

Bodman, M., 1998, Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 6.23 (Report - non-specific). SDV305931.

Bodman, M., 2003, Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 39 (Report - Interim). SDV325576.

Coldharbour Paper Mill was mentioned in 1745. In 1790 the newly built Coldharbour Mills were described as grist mills with four pairs of mills stones and two streams providing power. The property included a farmhouse, bakehouse, linhays and stabling. The mill closed in 1981. The waterwheel is believed to date from 1821.

Watts, S., 2004, Weekend Mill Tour, Devon, 2-5 September 2004, 10 (Un-published). SDV323972.

The site of Coldharbour Mill has undergone several changes of use during the last 250 years. According to an advert in 1788 there were 2 grist mills here which had been 'lately rebuilt entirely new from the Ground by an extraordinary clever millwright'. Prior to this, the site is thought to have been occupied by a paper mill which was destroyed by a flood in 1753. The grist mills occupied the river end of the building now housing the shop and restaurant. There were 2 undershot waterwheels, one at either end of the building, each driving 2 pairs of stones. However, by 1974, one of the wheels was powering a gig mill for finishing broadcloth.
In 1797 the site was bought by Thomas Fox and a new mill built for spinning fine worsted yarn. The Fox family ran the mill until its closure in the 1970s. Waterpower was initially used for driving the machinery. Steam power commenced in 1865. The waterwheel that can be seen today is the third on the site. The first, located on the side of the building, was replaced around 1814. This wheel, which is thought to have stood just south of the extant wheel, was scrapped and replaced in 1821. This third wheel is of all iron construction, 18ft diameter and 14ft wide.

Watts, M., 2016, Water Power in the Lower Culm valley, 238-9 (Article in Serial). SDV363576.

There have historically been corn, fulling and paper mills here. A new grist and flour mill was built here in the 1780s but it was short lived, the site being acquired by Thomas Fox of Wellington in the late 18th century who built a new textile factory.

Ordnance Survey, 2023, Mastermap 2023 (Cartographic). SDV365227.

Marked as Coldharbour Mill (Working Museum).

Historic England, 2023, National Heritage List for England, 1106486 (National Heritage List for England). SDV365228.

Coldharbour Mill. Earliest reference 1707 as a paper mill, rebuilt as a grist mill after a flood in 1753. Offered for sale 1788, purchased in 1797 by Thomas Fox of Wellington, a manufacturer of serge flannel, to expand his business. In 1799 he erected a brick and stone factory on the site. From 1799 to 1981 Messrs Fox Bros engaged in yarn spinning. In 1981 Fox Bros closed down Coldharbour Mill. From 1982 Coldharbour Mill has continued to operate a Working Wool Museum still producing yarn commerically.
Grist Mill; Brick and stone, 3-storey block, rectangular in plan with slated hipped roof and basement. East side 4-window range under segmentally headed window arches. Various window ranges to other sides.
Spinning Mill; Brick and stone 3-storey block, rectangular in plan with slated gable-ended roof mounted with ridge ventilators. The attic floor is lit by continuous clerestory windows to north and south. Two-storey extension to north and a single storey extension to south both with lean to roofs with skylights. Main block 7-window range. At west end of block ancillary buildings include engine room and boiler room leading to a tall polygonal stack. A high shot breast wheel survives at the opposite end of the block.
Date first listed: 15th April 1987

Sources / Further Reading

SDV122239Article in Serial: Shorter, A. H.. 1950. The Historical Geography of the Paper Making Industry in Devon, 1684-1950. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 82. A5 Hardback. 201.
SDV12998Un-published: Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. 1982. Mills Index. Mills Index. A4 Stapled.
SDV305931Report - non-specific: Bodman, M.. 1998. Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 6.23.
SDV323771Monograph: Lysons, D. + Lysons, S.. 1822. Magna Britannica. Devonshire. Magna Britannica: A Concise Topographical Account of The Several Counties o. 6: Devonshire. Unknown. 539.
SDV323972Un-published: Watts, S.. 2004. Weekend Mill Tour, Devon, 2-5 September 2004. A4 Stapled + Digital. 10.
SDV325576Report - Interim: Bodman, M.. 2003. Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 39.
SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 878.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV337808Article in Monograph: Cracknell, L.. 1988. Coldharbour Mill. Uffculme: A Culm Valley Parish. A5 Paperback. 66-70.
SDV339062Article in Serial: Cook, R. M. L.. 1973. Fourth Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 105. A5 Paperback.
SDV339063Article in Monograph: Booker, F.. 1978. The Buildings of Industry. Devon's Traditional Buildings. Unknown. 48.
SDV339064Leaflet: Unknown. 1982. Coldharbour Mill. Leaflet.
SDV339065Personal Comment: Timms, S. C.. 1983. Coldharbour Mill. Not Applicable.
SDV339068Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1986. DAP/GY. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1,2.
SDV34064Article in Serial: Phillips, M. C. + Wilson, R. E.. 1979. Water Mills in East Devon, Part X. Devon & Cornwall Notes and Queries. 34.3. Photocopy. 119.
SDV363576Article in Serial: Watts, M.. 2016. Water Power in the Lower Culm valley. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 148. Digital. 238-9.
SDV365227Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2023. Mastermap 2023. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV365228National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2023. National Heritage List for England. Digital. 1106486.
SDV7016Monograph: Minchinton, W. E.. 1976. Industrial Archaeology in Devon. Industrial Archaeology in Devon. Paperback Volume. 18.
SDV85084Article in Serial: Shorter, A. H.. 1947-1949. Paper Mills in Devon and Cornwall. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 23.4. Unknown. 197.

Associated Monuments

MDV105994Parent of: Air-Raid Shelter at Coldharbour Mill (Monument)
MDV110081Parent of: Grist Mill at Coldharbour Mill, Uffculme (Building)
MDV49690Related to: LEAT in the Parish of Uffculme (Monument)
MDV49691Related to: LEAT in the Parish of Uffculme (Monument)
MDV49693Related to: LEAT in the Parish of Uffculme (Monument)
MDV49692Related to: Mill Pond at Coldharbour Mill (Monument)
MDV69884Related to: WALL in the Parish of Uffculme (Monument)
MDV59024Related to: Wood's Paper Mill, Uffculme (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Oct 25 2023 2:36PM