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HER Number:MDV15902
Name:Buckland Mill, Buckland Filleigh


The present mill building dates to the mid 19th century although cartographic and documentary evidence indicate that there was an earlier mill on the site. The 19th century mill began as a grist and farm mill with an internal waterwheel. It was turned into a sawmill in the late 19th-early 20th century and the waterwheel was replaced by a turbine. A large proportion of the sawmill machinery survives.


Grid Reference:SS 476 086
Map Sheet:SS40NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBuckland Filleigh
Ecclesiastical ParishBUCKLAND FILLEIGH

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS40NE/12

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • WATERMILL (Built, XIX - 1801 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV242.

A mill at buckland filleigh is mentioned in 13th and 14th century deeds. It was probably situated near embury farmstead (reichel).

GROOM, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV2566.

Operating until 1953, by which time the mill was working as a sawmill, powered by a turbine (groom).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV2567.

Reichel, o. J. /tda/41(1909)246-247/a batch of old deeds relating to buckland filleigh.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV2568.

Des=groom, j. /(6/9/2002)/as above.

Historic England, 2016, Buckland Mill Farm and Farmhouse, Buckland Filleigh, Beaworthy, Torridge (Correspondence). SDV359572.

Notification of an application to add Buckland Mill Farm and Farmhouse to the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest.

Historic England, 2016, Buckland Mill, Buckland Filleigh, Beaworthy, Torridge, Devon (Correspondence). SDV359647.

Notification that having taken into account all the representations made and completed our assessment of it has been decided not to add Buckland Mill to the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest.
The Buckland Mill complex includes an C18 house and barn, a mid-C19 mill and stables and C20 timber yard.
The mill building was added in the mid-C19. First built as a grist mill, it was reused as a saw mill. The change of use resulted in modifications to the buildings, most notably the replacement of parts of the mill machinery. A large proportion of the late-C19/early-C20 machinery from the saw mill survives. Although surviving machinery can add to industrial buildings, in this case, most of the machinery relates to a later reuse of the building. The principal surviving feature that likely relates to the original grist mill is the winnowing machine on the ground floor, although this too is a late-C19 addition. The surviving machinery is not of sufficient rarity or technological interest to compensate for the level of alteration found throughout the rest of the building. As well as changes to the interior of the mill, the adjoining cowshed and workshop have been subject to extensions and alterations, including some rebuilding and rearrangement of openings. While the extension of the mill, and to some extent the addition of the C20 timber yard buildings to the rear, demonstrate the changing operational requirements of the mill, the later buildings and extensions are not of sufficient architectural quality, historic interest or rarity to raise the mill’s level of interest. Indeed in some cases the alterations have led to the loss of significant early fabric, including large sections of walling and internal machinery. This has also impacted on the overall legibility of the original industrial process. The level of internal survival in particular does not compare with other contemporary listed mill buildings.
The mill was added to the site in the mid-C19. The identification of a nearby ‘Old Mill Pond and Path’ on the Tithe Map, and the long held name of the house as 'Buckland Mill' and 'Mill Tenement’, strongly indicates that there was an earlier mill at this site; however the exact location of this is unclear. The mid-C19 mill began as a grist mill with an internal water wheel that was fed by an underground leat. Within the mill is a threshing machine that is assumed to relate to this earliest phase of use and is thought to be late-C19. During the late-C19/early-C20 the mill became a water-powered saw mill and the internal overshot water wheel was replaced by a water-powered turbine. The mill building was extended to the north-east by 1906. By the early-C20 a timber yard had been added to the north-west. The earliest structure in this yard was a northern stone-and-brick building with a lean-to timber-clad office. By the mid-C20 two further barns were added to the south of the timber yard. The northern building was almost entirely demolished in the late-C20 and replaced by a timber frame, with the exception of the northern wall and the lean-to office. The main building is believed to have ceased functioning as a mill soon after it was sold off from the Buckland Filleigh estate in 1952. The roofs to the cowshed and the workshop have been recently recovered.
A mid-C19 grist mill, converted into a water-powered saw mill in the late C19/early C20, with an attached cowshed and workshop
MATERIALS: rendered-cob walls with brick repairs, and a concrete-block addition at the far end of the cow shed. All ranges have pitched slate roofs.
PLAN: to the north is the T-shaped mill range, the main part of which runs north-west to south-east. An attached cow-shed wing runs north-east to south west.
EXTERIOR: the mill building is laid out on two levels and built against a bank to the north. The north-east
elevation faces onto the road and is single storey. It has a large central opening with a rolling-sliding timber door. To the left is a plank door with a taking-in door above. To the right is a door at the top of a set of stone steps. All of the openings have brick segmental heads. The south-east gable end of the mill has two doors on the lowest level (the left leads through to the winnowing machine and the right to a coal shed), with a taking-in door above. At the south-west end, running across the top of the mill range, is a single-storey workshop which has been built in two phases. The earliest phase, to the south-west, is mainly stone with an early-C20 brick infill on the south-east elevation, two large rolling-sliding doors on the north-west elevation and a set of double doors at the south-west gable end. The late-C19 phase to the north-east is a similar stone construction. The entrance to the mill's drop pit is on the lower level of the mill's south-west elevation. A single-storey cow shed and grain store projects at aright angle from this elevation. The cow shed has five bays and faces into the central yard. It has a central entrance, with a taking-in door above, and two large flanking livestock openings which appear to be later insertions. To the right is a barn door and taking-in door above and to the left is a late-C20 concrete-block lean-to addition.
INTERIOR: on the lower level of the mill, at the northern end, is the internal drop pit which is fed by the
underground leat. Within the pit is a large cast-iron water pipe taking water from the leat to the bottom of the pit. The saw mill was most recently powered by a water-fed turbine. It is unclear if the turbine survives; however, given the survival of the associated shaft, it seems likely that it will survive below the water level. There are a set of maintenance steps down to the bottom of the pit and a supporting brick pillar that appears to be contemporary with other early-C20 brick alterations to the complex and likely relates to the replacement of an overshot wheel by the turbine. Further to the south of the mill range on this level is a coal store and a room containing the late-C19 winnowing machine. The upper level consists of three rooms. The southern end contains an early-C20 mezzanine timber office, the central room is a large open space, and the northern room is above the drop pit and contains the remains of the drive shaft mechanism. Across the whole of this range is a drive belt that moves through openings at the top of the internal walls. The workshop to the north has a king-post roof and is largely open plan, save for a later concrete-block partition. The main part of the cow shed is subdivided by a pedestrian walkway with livestock pens to either side. There is a separate stable to the east. Above is a grain store and a king-post roof.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: a timber yard with two mid-C20 barns to the south and an early-C20 former
stone-and-brick building with attached lean-to office, most of this building was rebuilt in the late-C20 with a corrugated clad timber frame. Map object partly based on this source.

Ordnance Survey, 2016, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359352.

Map object partly based on this source.

Bodman, M., 2016, Water Mills and other Water-powered Sites in Devon. Revised edition, 487-8 (Report - non-specific). SDV359634.

The water powered machinery is described in an advert of 1854 as comprising a threshing machine, winnowing machine, corn and furze bruisers, chaff and turnip cutters and mill stones for grinding meal.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV242Migrated Record:
SDV2566Migrated Record: GROOM.
SDV2567Migrated Record:
SDV2568Migrated Record:
SDV359352Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV359572Correspondence: Historic England. 2016. Buckland Mill Farm and Farmhouse, Buckland Filleigh, Beaworthy, Torridge. Notification of Application to Add Building to List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. Digital.
SDV359634Report - non-specific: Bodman, M.. 2016. Water Mills and other Water-powered Sites in Devon. Revised edition. A4 Comb Bound. 487-8.
SDV359647Correspondence: Historic England. 2016. Buckland Mill, Buckland Filleigh, Beaworthy, Torridge, Devon. Notification of Decision not to Add Building to the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV115017Part of: Buckland Mill, Buckland Filleigh (Building)
MDV115413Related to: Buckland Mill House, Buckland Filleigh (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jun 22 2016 11:57AM