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HER Number:MDV19388
Name:Leat from Tavistock Canal, Gulworthy


Nineteenth century leat supplying water from the Tavistock Canal to Newquay, George & Charlotte Mine and Gawton Mine


Grid Reference:SX 449 699
Map Sheet:SX46NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishGulworthy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTAVISTOCK

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX47SW/524

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • LEAT (XIX - 1801 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

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

Leat shown.

Hedges, C., 1975, The Tavistock Canal. A Short History (Monograph). SDV361772.

Gaskell-Brown, C., 1980, Untitled Source, 37 (Monograph). SDV242404.

Leat supplying water to Newquay, George and Charlotte Mine and Gawton Mine drew its water from the Tavistock Canal at this point. Still visible above Newquay.

Buck, C., 2010, George & Charlotte Mine, Morwell, Devon: Archaeological Assessment, 26 (Report - Assessment). SDV345606.

The 1867 and Ordnance Survey maps are the earliest to show in detail a leat from the Tavistock Canal tunnel portal, running round the south side of the Morwellham access road, and then due east to George and Charlotte Mine. From here it fed two water wheels before it continued towards New Quay. The sluice feed from the latter (main) water wheel continued as the tailrace, feeding into the Tamar. A sluice feeds the New Quay reservior pond, before it continues along the side of the valley and goes under the main access track into the quay. It then continues along the side of the valley to power another water wheel a mile away near Bailey's Shaft at Gawton Mine. Part of the leat's course has been utilised to form a new footpath from Morwellham to New Quay. In places it is 0.5 to 0.8 metres wide at its base, with the downslope bank 0.5 to 0.7 metres high, and the upslope bank 0.9 to 1.3 metres high. The leat is likely to have been sluiced before it fed the small header pond next to the central mine's water wheel, the remainder of the water feeding into the leat, proceeding towards New Quay close to the mine track to New Quay. Where the leat goes across the waste rock from Middle Adit, revetment walling has been built for a height of 1.5 metres and length of 6 metres. Other details: Figures 7-10, 18: site 1.

Houghton, P., 2015, An Archaeological and Historical Report on New Quay Nr Tavistock Devon Volume One, 60-61, fig 8, 71-2 (Report - Assessment). SDV363202.

Leat shown on the 1867 Bedford Estate Map and ran from the Tavistock Canal portal along the south side of the Morwellham access road to the George and Charlotte Mine. It fed two water wheels; the main at the tailrace where a sluice controlled the flow of the leat into a reservoir/header pond before it continued on along the side of the valley to power the second water wheel at 'Bailey's Shaft' at Bedford Consols later renamed Gawton Mine (Buck, 2006, 21-22).

Waterhouse, R., 2017, The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology, 225-228, 331, Figs 7.2-7.4 (Monograph). SDV361789.

The George and Charlotte Leat (c.1816-1825), SX4485 7025 to SX4527 6992
Leat may have 18th century origins, it took water from the Canal just south of the southern portal of the Morwelldown Tunnel and followed the contour through the upper edge of Sheepridge Wood and crossed the valley below Lower Sheepridge Farm, where a small stream (called Pirike Lake in the 18th century) fromed the boundary with Maddacleave Wood. The first of two 19th century water engines was here (No. 1 wheel); a 45 foot by 2 foot 6 inch overshot wheel, pumping Ley's Shaft 550 metres to the east via flat-rods (MDV78677). The leat continues following the contour then passes under the New Quay road of 1773, its course apparently ending at the former openworks on the lode, while its 19th century course joined the tailrace from the first water engine further downhill, falling alongside the dump from the mine's middle adit to the second water engine (MDV78691). A third engine (MDV124299) is thought to have been underground.
After the mine closed in 1869, the leat was diverted around the No. 1 wheel's pit in a deep rock cutting and short tunnel, but was routed through the now now empty No. 2 pit towards New Quay and Wheal Gawton, which continued to use the water until the early 20th century.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV242404Monograph: Gaskell-Brown, C.. 1980. New Quay Devon. An Archaeological and Historical Survey. Unknown. 37.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #82495 ]
SDV345606Report - Assessment: Buck, C.. 2010. George & Charlotte Mine, Morwell, Devon: Archaeological Assessment. Cornwall County Council Report. 2010R122. A4 Stapled + Digital. 26.
SDV361772Monograph: Hedges, C.. 1975. The Tavistock Canal. A Short History. The Tavistock Canal. A5 Paperback.
SDV361789Monograph: Waterhouse, R.. 2017. The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology. The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology. Paperback Volume. 225-228, 331, Figs 7.2-7.4.

Associated Monuments

MDV5490Related to: Gawton Mine, West Devon (Monument)
MDV5467Related to: George and Charlotte Mine (Monument)
MDV78681Related to: Leat in Sheepridge Wood, George and Charlotte Mine (Monument)
MDV79799Related to: Leat North of Morwellham (Monument)
MDV77697Related to: Leat Through Maddacleave Wood (Monument)
MDV121796Related to: Leat to Reservoir for Morwellham Hydro-Electric Power Station (Monument)
MDV19384Related to: Lime Kilns, Incline and Storage Yard at New Quay (Building)
MDV124299Related to: Site of third water engine in Sheepridge Wood, George and Charlotte Mine, Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV126495Related to: Stream culvert at New Quay (Monument)
MDV78682Related to: Tail Race, George and Charlotte Mine (Monument)
MDV52866Related to: Tavistock Canal, Weir & Sluice (Monument)
MDV78677Related to: Wheel Pit in Sheepridge Wood, George and Charlotte Mine, Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV78691Related to: Wheel Pit, George and Charlotte Mine (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4945 - Archaeological Assessment of George & Charlotte Mine, Morwell, Devon
  • EDV4946 - Field Survey of George & Charlotte Mine, Morwell, Devon
  • EDV8147 - Watching brief during vegetation clearance works at New Quay

Date Last Edited:Sep 19 2019 10:36AM