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HER Number:MDV18878
Name:Talewater Mill, Talaton


Talewater or Colletts Mill is suggested to be on the site of a Domesday mill, the earliest documentary evidence for the present building are the deeds of 1749. It is described as flour and grist mills with a house and stable in a sale notice of 1810. The mill is marked as disused on the 1904-6 Ordnance Survey map, but apparently worked by engine until 1939. The main mill building is now roofless and derelict, the front wall having collapsed. No machinery survives.


Grid Reference:SY 081 997
Map Sheet:SY09NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishTalaton
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTALATON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SY09NE/43
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • WATERMILL (Built, XVIII - 1701 AD (Between) to 1800 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, OS SY09NE 22, OS SY09NE 22 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV116055.

Devon County Council, 1838-1848, Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848 (Cartographic). SDV349431.

The mill is shown alongside/across the leat. Another, rectangular building, is shown to the south as part of the same plot. The plot, No. 136 is ecorded as 'Mills' on the accompanying Tithe Apportionment, owned and occuped by Barnabas Wright.

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

Marked as Talewater Mill (Corn). The building to the south depicted on the Tithe Map is no longer extant.

Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

Marked as Corn Mill (Disused).

Ordnance Survey, 1906, 69NE (Cartographic). SDV335886.

Marked as Corn Mill (Disused).

Royal Air Force, 1946 - 1949, Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs (Aerial Photograph). SDV342938.

The 1940s RAF aerial photo shows the mill building to have been extended alongside the lane.

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

Other details: Visited in 1973.

Phillips, M. C. + Wilson, R. E., 1978 - 1981, Water Mills in East Devon, 114 (Article in Serial). SDV102852.

Talewater Mill, Talaton, a former watermill which may be on the site of a mill noted in the Domesday survey. Otherwise the earliest documentary evidence is in deeds of 1749. Thereafter the mill was in use till 1939, although powered latterly by gas or diesel engines. There is a surviving three-storey mill building of brick, stone, and slate, although nothing remains of machinery including former overshot wheel. Water supplied direct from River Tale leaving the old river course largely dry. Grist mill.

Bodman, M., 1998, Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 21,22 (Report - non-specific). SDV305931.

Bodman, M., 2003, Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 176-7 (Report - Interim). SDV325576.

'Talewater Mills' mentioned in a sale notice of 1810 as flour & grist mills with a house & stable.

Watts S., 2020, Talewater Mill (Ground Photograph). SDV364693.

Site visit 21st July 2020. Talewater or Colletts Mill comprises the main south facing mill building alongside the least with an extension at the west end, part of which extends over the leat and which was extended southwards in the earlier 20th century. It was latterly occupied by Otter Nurseries.
The footprint of the mill, which was largely obscured by debris at the time of the site visit, is about 7.7 m by 3.54m, the original extension about 4.44m long. The west wall of the extension is partly built into the slope, the lane alongside being at first floor level.
The mill building has been largely demolished by neglect over the last 30 years or so and is now roofless and much of the front wall has gone. Built of stone and brick, it formerly had a slate roof with clay ridge tiles. One of these is stamped, WILCOX & HARVEY/WESTON-SUPER-MARE. Wilcox and Harvey were producing such tiles between about 1855 and 1882 (B. Murless, Pers. Comm.).
A possible wheelshaft entry survives in the north wall, above floor level.
The roof of the extension is now clad with corrugated sheeting as is part of the first floor on the east facing, yard, side.
The mill and extension are currently (July 2020) the subject of a planning application for conversion to a residential dwelling and annexe. it is understood from the site owners, however, that the mill building is to be consolidated and retained as a patio garden. It is possible that features such as the wheelpit and possibly a grain silo survive beneath the debris.

Ordnance Survey, 2022, Mastermap 2022 (Cartographic). SDV364674.

Marked as Collets Mill.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV102852Article in Serial: Phillips, M. C. + Wilson, R. E.. 1978 - 1981. Water Mills in East Devon. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 34. Unknown. 114.
SDV116055Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. OS SY09NE 22. OS SY09NE 22. OS SY09NE 22.
SDV305931Report - non-specific: Bodman, M.. 1998. Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 21,22.
SDV325576Report - Interim: Bodman, M.. 2003. Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 176-7.
SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV335886Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1906. 69NE. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 6 inch Map. Map (Paper).
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV342938Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 - 1949. Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Digital).
SDV349431Cartographic: Devon County Council. 1838-1848. Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Map. Digital.
SDV364674Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2022. Mastermap 2022. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV364693Ground Photograph: Watts S.. 2020. Talewater Mill. Digital.
SDV83967Report - Survey: Devon County Council. 1974. Survey of Watermills in Devon: Gazetteer. Devon County Council Report. Unknown. A4 Bound.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Apr 18 2024 5:45PM