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HER Number:MDV17622
Name:Weycroft Mill, Axminster

Summary

A water mill, mill buildings and mill house of 18th and 19th century date but probably on an earlier site; two mills are recorded at Weycroft in Domesday book. Adjoining the mill is a 19th century steam mill, now gutted. Much of the machinery remains in the mill, the waterwheels having been replaced by turbines. The mill may have been fortified as part of the World War II defences in this area on the 1940 Taunton Stop Line.

Location

Grid Reference:SY 306 999
Map Sheet:SY39NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishAxminster
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishAXMINSTER

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SY39NW/55
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SY39NW/55/1
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 87677

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • WATERMILL (Early Medieval to XXI - 1066 AD to 2009 AD (Between))
  • STEAM MILL (Built, XIX - 1801 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Clements, H. A., Report on Buildings at Risk in the Devon Part of the Blackdown Hills, 18, 38, (Report - non-specific). SDV344049.

Risk level 2, partly occupied, very bad condition (B.A.R. 1.2.2). Other details: Photos.


Reichel, O. J., 1928 - 1938, The Hundred of Axminster in Early Times, 139, 169 (Article in Monograph). SDV112553.

Weycroft Mill was Willecrosta in Domesday. It was held by Roger of Ralf de Pomeray. Before the conquest it was held by Aluric.


Wilkin, W. H., 1936, Axminster Notes: Part 2, 361 (Article in Serial). SDV117837.

There were two mills at Weycroft at Domesday returning 7 shillings and sixpence a year.


Devon County Council, 1974, Survey of Watermills in Devon: Gazetteer (Report - Survey). SDV83967.

A grist mill mentioned in Domesday now used for animal foodstuffs.


Phillips, M. C. + Wilson, R. E., 1974 - 1977, Water Mills in East Devon, 51-52 (Article in Serial). SDV42946.

There were three mills at Axminster mentioned in the Domesday Survey, two of them at Weycroft.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1979, SY39NW10, SY39NW/10 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV117836.

Two mills are recorded in the Domesday Survey for Weycroft returning 7 shillings and 6 pence a year.
An earthern dam at SY30809970 shown on Ordnance Survey maps from 1890 to 1959 but not on that of 1972 may relate to one of these mills.


Department of Environment, 1983, Axminster (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV117703.


Exeter Archaeology, 1996, Weycroft Mill, Axminster; Brief Report for DCC (Report - non-specific). SDV117831.

Weycroft Mill is situated on the River Axe about a mile to the north-east of Axminster. The site lies on the line of a Roman road (The Fosse Way) which is now represented by the modern Chard Road. The mill occupies an ancient site which has almost certainly been used for milling since before the Domesday Survey of 1086. There is a medieval manorial site at Weycroft on the hill above the road and it is most likely that the mill was originally developed as part of this manor. The core of the existing complex is an 'L' shaped stone-built range which runs for some distance to the north along the east side of the Chard Road and extends to the east at the rear. This building is two storeys high with extensive lofts. It appears to be mainly of late 18th or early 19th century date although it incorporates some fabric reused from an earlier building, including a door frame with a shaped timber head in the form of a cranked arch. This feature may date from the 16th or 17th century and it is not unlikely that elements of earlier structures may remain concealed within the fabric. The roadside wing of the building housed the mill machinery and grain storage facilities and still retains much machinery, most of which probably dates from the late 19th or early 20th century. The grain storage bins still survive in the loft, accessed by a low level gallery. The east wing now contains the miller's house which is largely 19th century in appearance and contains a good staircase. It is probable that the mill has encroached upon the house and further domestic accommodation in a new wing was added to the north in the 19th century. Behind the house and the mill, extending to the ne along the north edge of the leat is a long range of stone built buildings, two storeys high. These buildings may also date from the late 18th or early 19th century and may possibly have housed additional machinery or storage space. These buildings continue as a one-storey range, possibly stabling or cart sheds. The south-east wall of this building contains a doorway at ground floor level opening upon the leat. This may have led to a bridge or gallery over the leat allowing access to sluices or possibly to service a wheel. The doorway is now a window but retains a small porch or canopy. To the south of the earlier buildings is a large tower-like range with an upper storey clad in corrugated iron. This range is of uncertain date, though it is probably 19th century in origin. Adjoining this building to the east is a handsome late 19th century steam mill, with arched metal windows and a tall chimney. The interior has unfortunately been gutted and no machinery now remains. Further buildings surround a large yard to the n of the mill, including a large barn. This is partly stone built and has an early 19th century appearance. However, it does not appear on late 19th century Ordnance Survey maps and was probably constructed circa 1900. Further north and isolated from the other buildings stands a tall two-storey stone structure of uncertain function. The present owner of the property says that it was used for smoking fish and this is potentially of great interest if it could be substantiated. The extensive grounds of the property contain a wide range of structures of archaeological interest including a number of bridges, sluices, leats and channels. The complex is unusually large for a rural mill, especially as Axminster had its own town mills and there were also mills at Millbrook to the south, and Lower Couxden to the north of Weycroft. The standing buildings, though probably not of very early date, are interesting and retain much of their machinery and other fittings.


Horner, B., 1997, DAP/ABR, 11, 12 (Aerial Photograph). SDV319234.


Horner, B., 1997, Taunton Stop Line Survey Site Visit (Personal Comment). SDV117833.

Refurbishment works well under way.


Bodman, M., 1998, Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 2.3 (Report - non-specific). SDV305931.


Bodman, M., 2003, Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 17-18 (Report - Interim). SDV325576.

Described in 1791 as a house and water corn mill, and in 1862 as including a threshing machine and circular saw. A deed of 1687 tells of three mills at 'Weycroft Mills', which consist of a corn mill, a fulling mill and a malt mill. In the 18th century it was called 'Lincoln's Mill'. The mill ceased operation in 1977 and was derelict in 1996.


Foot, W., 2005, Defence Areas. A National Study of Second World War Anti-Invasion Landscapes in England, DA03-Weycroft-S0013509, p5 (Report - Survey). SDV360266.

Site visit 14th January 2003. Weycroft defence area. Vertical embrasure visible in wall of building facing the road. This may have a Second World War military origin. The buildings of what was then a flour mill are likely to have been fortified as part of the defences in this location. In good condition.


English Heritage, 2010, Historic Houses Register (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV154869.

Weycroft Mill and Mill House. Water mill, mill buildings and miller's home. 18th and 19th century, possibly with earlier eave, on a medieval mill site. The mill is roughcast stone with gable-ended slate roof. Two storeys with three window range facing road. Two and three-light case-ments with glazing bars. Central door and window with canopy over. Left door to left. This partly incorporates the miller's house which adjoins to left (North). 19th century two storey, two window stuccoed addition. Adjoining to right (south) tall mill building of roughcast stone rubble with corrugated iron, clad top storey and corrugated iron gable-ended roof. This incorporates small shop premises. Adjoining at rear (east) a circa mid 19th century steam mill addition of red/brick with slate roof, two storeys and cellars three window range, iron-frame windows with segmental heads and small central opening lights, and with brick chimney stack at south east corner. At rear (east) of main range a long stone rubble range with corrugated asbestos roof, containing granaries over stores. The mill machinery survives but the wheels have been replaced by two turbines installed by Armfield and Company, Ringwood, Hampshire.


Powell-Thomas, A., 2017, The West Country's last Line of Defence. Taunton Stop Line, 77 (Monograph). SDV360594.


Ordnance Survey, 2018, MasterMap 2018 (Cartographic). SDV360652.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV112553Article in Monograph: Reichel, O. J.. 1928 - 1938. The Hundred of Axminster in Early Times. The Hundreds of Devon. A5 Hardback. 139, 169.
SDV117703List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1983. Axminster. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound.
SDV117831Report - non-specific: Exeter Archaeology. 1996. Weycroft Mill, Axminster; Brief Report for DCC. Unknown.
SDV117833Personal Comment: Horner, B.. 1997. Taunton Stop Line Survey Site Visit. Taunton Stop Line Survey. Not Applicable.
SDV117836Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1979. SY39NW10. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index + Digital. SY39NW/10.
SDV117837Article in Serial: Wilkin, W. H.. 1936. Axminster Notes: Part 2. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 68. A5 Hardback. 361.
SDV154869List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: English Heritage. 2010. Historic Houses Register. Historic Houses Register. Website.
SDV305931Report - non-specific: Bodman, M.. 1998. Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 2.3.
SDV319234Aerial Photograph: Horner, B.. 1997. DAP/ABR. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 11, 12.
SDV325576Report - Interim: Bodman, M.. 2003. Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 17-18.
SDV344049Report - non-specific: Clements, H. A.. Report on Buildings at Risk in the Devon Part of the Blackdown Hills. Devon County Council Report. A4 Comb Bound + Digital. 18, 38,.
SDV360266Report - Survey: Foot, W.. 2005. Defence Areas. A National Study of Second World War Anti-Invasion Landscapes in England. Council for British Archaeology/English Heritage. Digital. DA03-Weycroft-S0013509, p5.
SDV360594Monograph: Powell-Thomas, A.. 2017. The West Country's last Line of Defence. Taunton Stop Line. The West Country's last Line of Defence. Taunton Stop Line. Paperback Volume. 77.
SDV360652Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2018. MasterMap 2018. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #82066 ]
SDV42946Article in Serial: Phillips, M. C. + Wilson, R. E.. 1974 - 1977. Water Mills in East Devon. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 33. Unknown. 51-52.
SDV83967Report - Survey: Devon County Council. 1974. Survey of Watermills in Devon: Gazetteer. Devon County Council Report. Unknown. A4 Bound.

Associated Monuments

MDV48827Parent of: LEAT in the Parish of Axminster (Monument)
MDV48828Parent of: Possible Mill Dam south of Weycroft, Axminster (Monument)
MDV49721Related to: LIME KILN in the Parish of Axminster (Monument)
MDV119535Related to: Taunton Stop Line (Monument)
MDV120385Related to: Weycroft Defence Area on the Taunton Stop Line (Monument)
MDV11436Related to: Weycroft Manor House (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4580 - Buildings at Risk Survey

Date Last Edited:Jan 24 2018 4:00PM