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HER Number:MDV18307
Name:Belsford Mill, Harberton


A former cornmill, now house-converted. The mill worked as a corn mill until 1939 when it closed. It was then converted to provide electricity generation, which is still carried out.


Grid Reference:SX 770 588
Map Sheet:SX75NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishHarberton
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishHARBERTON

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Leat to Belsford Mill potentially dating to the medieval period

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX75NE/39

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • WATERMILL (Built, Post Medieval to XIX - 1540 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

RICHARDS, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV13227.

Harris locates this mill at 'warburton' but it would appear to be at harberton (richards).

DCC MILLS SURVEY, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV178159.

'belsford cornmill' indicated on os 6" (1906) and 'belsford mill' on os 6" (1963) on harbourne river. Gristmill in present use as a generation of electricity. Building of stone has a overshot wheel with closed paddles. River supplies water, wooden launder; watercourse. By pass. Sluice gates. Axle-tree, and pit-wheel still survives.13th century in origin (dcc mills survey).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV178163.

Des=os 6"(1906)sheet 120se.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV178164.

Des=dcc/survey of watermills of devon/(1974)gazetteer.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV178165.

Pim, r. /kingsbridge history society recorder/9(1993)13/water power in the south hams/in smr.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV178167.

Des=harris, w. B. /tda/127(dec 1995)286/hydro-electricity in devon: past present and future.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV178168.

Des=richards, a.(dcc)/as above.

HARRIS, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV22166.

Privately owned hydro electric generator installed at belsford mill in 1940 using water from a leat to power the overshot waterwheel (harris).

Bodman, M., 1998, Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 8.28 (Report - non-specific). SDV305931.

Bodman, M., 2003, Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 66 (Report - Interim). SDV325576.

Belsford Mill is recorded in 1864 as having two pairs of stones and smut and bunt machines for cleaning the grain and seiving the flour. The mill is now house-converted but the leat is live and the waterwheel is used to generate electricity. A newspaper article in 2001 suggests that there has been a mill here since the 12th century. It was a working corn mill until 1939.

Exeter Archaeology, 2005, An Archaeological Survey of Weirs in the River Dart Catchment. Draft Report, Appendix 1: Ex. Arch. No. 1 (Report - Survey). SDV356906.

Ex. Arch. No. 1. Watercourse: Harbourne River.
The mill is depicted on the OS Surveyors’ Draft of 1803-4 and is present on subsequent mapping. The mill ground corn until 1939 when it closed, but was converted to provide electricity generation in 1940, which is still carried out.

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

Belsford Mill marked with a water wheel.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV13227Migrated Record: RICHARDS.
SDV178159Migrated Record: DCC MILLS SURVEY.
SDV178163Migrated Record:
SDV178164Migrated Record:
SDV178165Migrated Record:
SDV178167Migrated Record:
SDV178168Migrated Record:
SDV22166Migrated Record: HARRIS.
SDV305931Report - non-specific: Bodman, M.. 1998. Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 8.28.
SDV325576Report - Interim: Bodman, M.. 2003. Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 66.
SDV355681Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2014. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #82199 ]
SDV356906Report - Survey: Exeter Archaeology. 2005. An Archaeological Survey of Weirs in the River Dart Catchment. Draft Report. Exeter Archaeology Report. Digital. Appendix 1: Ex. Arch. No. 1.

Associated Monuments

MDV68755Related to: Belsford Mill Leat, Harberton (Monument)
MDV107530Related to: Belsford Mill Weir, Harberton (Monument)
MDV107533Related to: Sluice at Belsford Mill, Harberton (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6538 - Archaeological Survey of Weirs in the River Dart Catchment

Date Last Edited:Oct 9 2014 10:12AM