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HER Number:MDV18716
Name:Honiton Town Mills, Millhead Road, Honiton

Summary

Town Mills at the corner of Mill Street and King Street in Honiton were mentioned in 17th century and were working until the mid 20th century.

Location

Grid Reference:ST 158 004
Map Sheet:ST10SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishHoniton
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishHONITON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: ST10SE/45

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MILL (Post Medieval to XXI - 1540 AD to 2009 AD (Between))

Full description

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

'Town Mills (Corn)' shown on 19th century map as two groups of buildings in a rectilinear enclosure on the western side of the junction of 'Mill Street' and 'King Steet' in Honiton.


Phillips, M. C. + Wilson, R. E., 1974 - 1977, Water Mills in East Devon, 264 (Article in Serial). SDV42946.

Town Mill, a water mill in King Street, Honiton. The mill building of stone with slate roof and the machinery still in good working order were in use until very recent times. Water for power came from The Gissage via a leat which was damaged in 1968 and has not been repaired since. A deed of 1691 refers to the mill. It had been a flour and grist mill.


Timms, S. C., 1976, The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft, 121 (Report - Survey). SDV341346.


Dixon, T. + Weddell, P. J., 1995, Archaeological and Historical Appraisal of the Town of Honiton, East Devon, 7 (Report - Assessment). SDV338066.


Bodman, M., 1998, Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 22 (Report - non-specific). SDV305931.

Number 33.


Fisher, J., 1999, East Devon Conservation Area Appraisals: Honiton, 5 (Report - non-specific). SDV346894.

Photograph shows the former watermill in King Street. The mill wheel which still survives was manufactured at the Mickelburgh Foundry in Honiton. Maps, photograph.


Bodman, M., 2003, Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 178 (Report - Interim). SDV325576.

Town Mills in Honiton were mentioned in a lease of 1790. In 1866 'The Honiton Town Mills' included flour machines, two pair of stones, water wheel, stores, dairy, cart-linhay, cow sheds & cellars. The decaying external overshot wheel was surviving in 2003 along with the buildings mostly of random stone with some brickwork. The high level leat that supplied the mill had been built over.


AOC Archaeology Group, 2005, Proposed retail development, Ottery Moor Lane, Honiton: archaeological desk-based assessment, 16, 28 (Report - Assessment). SDV337584.


English Heritage, 2012, Assessment of Town Mill (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV349427.

The Town Mill, Honiton, is shown on the earliest map of the area, which was made in 1782. On the first and second edition Ordnance Survey maps, published in 1889 and 1905, the mill is marked as a corn mill occupying the same area as today. The existing building is thought to be of 18th centruy date, but having undergone considerable change since that time. The mill was supplied with water from a leat brought from the south, which was then directed to feed the waterwheel from the west. The mill continued in use until 1968, when flooding destroyed the leat. The existing overshot waterwheel bears the name of the Honiton ironfounder and millwright, Walter Mickburgh. The building was saved from demolition in 1981, and partially restored and converted to residential use. It is now unoccupied, and some of the windows are boarded up. Until recently an Archimides screw lying within the wheelpit was fixed to the wall to the south of the sluice; this is thought to have been used in the circulation of water, and may have been a 20th century intervention. Standing at the south-east corner of the main mill building is a small subsidiary building, which is attached at its east end to a 19th century building now known as 'New Mill House'.

Interior: the interior of the building has not been inspected, but photographs provided by the applicant indicate that although the building has received some alteration as a result of its conversion to residential use, much of the internal machinery survives, including the pit wheel, and the spur and crown wheels on their upright shaft.


Ordnance Survey, 2012, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV348725.


English Heritage, 2012, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV348729.

Summary of Building
Town Mill, Honiton is a mill building believed to date from the 18th century retaining its late-19th century water wheel and internal machinery, together with a small subsidiary building attached to the south-east.

Town Mill, Honiton is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Historical Interest: as a town mill building with origins in the 18th century, retaining significant historic fabric; * Intactness: for the survival of its late-19th century mill wheel, and a good proportion of internal machinery.

History
A mill on the site of the Town Mill, Honiton, is referred to in a deed of 1691. The mill is shown as 'George Yonge's Mill' on the earliest map of the area, made in 1780, as a complex of buildings occupying a rectangular site, and set around an open area. The mill was also known as Thomas's Mill during the 18th century and, after its purchase by John Channon, as Channon's Mill. The current building stands at the south-west corner of the site occupied by the complex in the 18th century, and is thought to date from that century, whilst the other buildings have been replaced. In 1866 'The Honiton Town Mills' had flour machines, two pairs of stones, and a water wheel, whilst associated buildings included stores, a dairy, a cart-linhay, cow sheds and cellars. On the first and second edition Ordnance Survey maps, published in 1889 and 1905, the principal mill building is marked as a corn mill occupying the same area as today. The existing building is thought to be of 18th century date, but having undergone considerable change since that time. The mill was supplied with water from a leat brought from the river Gissage to the south, which was then directed eastwards to drive the waterwheel, and thereafter passed through the brewery on the west side of Mill Street to rejoin the river at the iron foundry beyond. The mill continued in use until 1968, when flooding destroyed the leat. The existing overshot waterwheel of 1898 bears the name of the ironfounder and millwright, Walter Mickelburgh, whose premises lay to the east. The building was saved from demolition in 1981, and partially restored and converted to residential use. It is now unoccupied, and some of the windows are boarded up. Until recently an Archimides screw lying within the wheelpit was fixed to the wall to the south of the sluice; this is thought to have been used in the circulation of water, and may have been a 20th century intervention. Standing at the south-east corner of the main mill building is a small subsidiary building. Other buildings on the site of the 18th century complex appear to relate to the mill's 19th century history.

Details
Materials: built of chert rubble, with red brick quoins, and red brick to some window surrounds. The wall within the wheelpit, to the south of the building, is rendered. The roof, which is of a fairly shallow pitch, appears to have been replaced, and has a slate covering; there is a tall brick stack to the rear. All the windows appear to have been replaced or removed.

Plan: the principal mill building has a rectangular footprint; the building was extended to the north, probably in the 19th century, with a catslide roof. The mill is set back from King Street, with the wheel pit to the south. The building is accessed via a bridge to the right of the wheel pit, which leads to the main door opening. Attached to the south-east is a small subsidiary building.

Exterior: in the south elevation, the building is entered at ground-floor level, through the doorway to the right. This door opening has been altered in the 20th century; the opening is roughly framed with brick, and there is a thin wooden lintel. The two square window openings have also received some alteration, and new lintels and sills, whilst the area between them appears to have been partially rebuilt. The three first-floor windows are not placed directly above the ground-floor openings. The roof eaves now sit immediately above the window openings. The west gable end of the building has a window at ground-floor level, and another window above, in the gable; both windows have flat brick arches, and both openings appear to have been altered. There is a further window to the extension, in this elevation. The 1898 overshot waterwheel remains in situ in the wheelpit before the building; this is of cast iron, with iron shaft and buckets, and timber arms. The wheel is embossed with the name of the maker: 'W. Mickelburgh'. At the west end of the wheelpit, the chert wall has been heightened in brick, with an opening for the sluice. The sluice gate survives, but is much decayed.

Interior: the interior of the building has not been inspected, but photographic evidence indicates that although the building has received some alteration as a result of its conversion to residential use, much of the 19th century internal machinery survives, though some has been lost and there has been some repair and renewal. The axle still links the water wheel and internal pit wheel, and the gearing - of applewood and iron - appears to remain intact on both ground and first floors, with the wallower, spur wheel, and crown wheel in place on the upright shaft.

Subsidiary Features: the subsidiary building standing at the south-east corner of the mill is of two-storeys, the lower storey being below the ground floor of the main building, owing to the changing ground level. The lower storey of the subsidiary building is of chert, as is the west gable end, but the upper storey of the street elevation is of painted brick. This building has a door opening with a brick arch at the far eastern end of the building; above, two windows with new lintels.

A low wall separates the mill site from the street, with a gap allowing access to the building. At the west end, the tall leat wall borders on the street. At the east end, affixed to a raised section of wall is a plaque giving information about the history of the site.


English Heritage, 25/06/2012, Addition of Town Mill to the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV349696.

Honiton Town Mill is known to have existed in the 18th century; the first known reference to the mill is on a map of
1780, but it may be supposed to be considerably earlier than that, since it was known as both 'Thomas's Mill' and 'Sir George Yonge's Mill' before it was sold by Yonge in 1782. The building which stands on King Street today is thought to be part of the complex in place in the second part of the 18th century, though it has seen very considerable change over the years, with much rebuilding and alteration to openings. Recent modifications, and replacement windows, do detract from the mill's historic appearance, but it remains a modest vernacular building, constructed, and then altered, to meet the demands of function. The main features of its operation as a mill in the 19th century are still clearly legible, through the survival of the mill wheel, and of internal machinery. Although the leat no longer exists, its role iillustrated by the presence of the sluice above the wheel. The legibility of the mill is enhanced by the retention of a good proportion of the internal machinery, though the precise extent of survival is not known; our assessment of the interior has depended on photographs. It appears that some of the 19th century internal machinery has been lost, and that there has been some repair and renewal, but the water wheel and internal pit wheel are still linked by their axle, and the gearing - of applewood and iron - appears to remains intact, on both ground and first floors. The building is of considerable historical interest as a reminder of the small mills which once formed a part of the urban, as well as the rural scene, but which have now frequently been lost, or altered to such an extent that their original function is no longer apparent. The position of the mill at the edge of the old town, where it was joined during the 19th century by other industrial enterprises – the brewery and iron foundry – is characteristic; the close proximity of the site to the former foundry, which was the source of the 1898 mill wheel is of particular interest. Other buildings relating to the 19th century history of the mill, namely a 19th century house named 'New Mill House', with a small warehouse attached, remain on the site of the original complex, and are of local interest, though they do not form part of this assessment. Although a full inspection has not been possible for the purposes of this assessment, a partial external
inspection, together with the internal photographs provided by the applicant, has allowed us to reach an informed judgment regarding the building, and we are satisfied that Honiton Town Mill holds the special interest required for national designation.

CONCLUSION
After examining all the records and other relevant information and having carefully examined the architectural
and historical merit of this case, the criteria for listing are fulfilled. Honiton Town Mill is therefore
recommended for listing at Grade II.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION DECISION
Town Mill, Honiton, is recommended for designation at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historical Interest: as a town mill building with origins in the 18th century, retaining significant historic fabric;
* Intactness: for the survival of its late-19th century mill wheel, and a good proportion of internal machinery.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV305931Report - non-specific: Bodman, M.. 1998. Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 22.
SDV325576Report - Interim: Bodman, M.. 2003. Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 178.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV337584Report - Assessment: AOC Archaeology Group. 2005. Proposed retail development, Ottery Moor Lane, Honiton: archaeological desk-based assessment. AOC Archaeology Group Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 16, 28.
SDV338066Report - Assessment: Dixon, T. + Weddell, P. J.. 1995. Archaeological and Historical Appraisal of the Town of Honiton, East Devon. Exeter Archaeology Report. 95.49. A4 Stapled + Digital. 7.
SDV341346Report - Survey: Timms, S. C.. 1976. The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. A4 Unbound + Digital. 121.
SDV346894Report - non-specific: Fisher, J.. 1999. East Devon Conservation Area Appraisals: Honiton. East Devon District Council Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 5.
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #82315 ]
SDV348729National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2012. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV349427List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: English Heritage. 2012. Assessment of Town Mill. Assess Building for Designation.
SDV349696List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: English Heritage. 25/06/2012. Addition of Town Mill to the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. Additions and Amendments to Checklist. A4 Stapled.
SDV42946Article in Serial: Phillips, M. C. + Wilson, R. E.. 1974 - 1977. Water Mills in East Devon. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 33. Unknown. 264.

Associated Monuments

MDV18718Related to: Tucking Mills, New Street, Honiton (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV5864 - Assessment of Town Mill, King Street

Date Last Edited:Jun 6 2014 11:54AM