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HER Number:MDV19677
Name:Luton Mill


'Luton Mill' also known as 'The Old Mill' may have originated in 17C with later alterations. Buildings include the mill, house & former bakery with outbuildings to the southeast & a mill pond & leat to the northeast


Grid Reference:SX 901 770
Map Sheet:SX97NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBishopsteignton
Ecclesiastical ParishBISHOPSTEIGNTON

Protected Status

  • Listed Building (II) 1147668: The Old Mill

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX97NW/27
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 85727

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1880s, Ordnance Survey, OS 25" (Cartographic). SDV848.

'Luton Mill (Corn)' shown on OS 25" (1880s) map with a mill pond to the northeast fed by a leat from the northeast.

Ordnance Survey, 1906, 102SW, OS 6" 102SW (Cartographic). SDV306314.

'Corn Mill' marked on OS 6" (1906) map.

Ordnance Survey, 1963, Ordnance Survey 6 inch map, OS 6" (Cartographic). SDV166087.

Dudley, E. R., 1981, Untitled Source (Worksheet). SDV306313.

Mill house has external stack with drip stones and a large covered in fireplace. Two sets of millstones, waterwheel missing. Shafting and gearing intact. Oven bricked. Mill pond nearby. Documentation on worksheet. Photos of millhouse and disused millpond on worksheet. Other details: Photo.

Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, 1982, Mills Index (Un-published). SDV12998.

Luton Mill complete. Possible millpond shown on OS 6" 1963. Mill pond and leat clearly shown on Tithe Map of 1840. Other details: Visited 1965.

Department of Environment, 1988, Bishopsteignton, 8/298 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV319942.

'The Old Mill' incorporating the miller's house. Probably 18C with a 20C wing. Rendered cob and stone rubble; corrugated iron roof (formerly thatched), gabled at ends ; projecting gable end stack. Plan: Gable on to the road, a single depth building with the mill to the rear and the miller's house to the front which has a principal heated room and a gable end entrance into a narrow service room. The water wheel no longer exists but, according to the owner, considerable machinery survives in the mill which ceased to work c1880. Exterior: 2 storey house, 3 storey mill. Exterior rather inaccessible due to undergrowth. The gable end has a 20C front door to the right of the stack & two 19C or early 20C timber casements with glazing bars to the left 20C wing at right angles to the building largely clad with corrugated iron. Interior: Modern fireplace to the house, said to conceal a larger, earlier fireplace. A 20C bathroom projects into the first floor of the mill which preserves 3 gearing wheels, one with, timber teeth, 2 grinding stones and rear access at first floor level. Other details: LBS Number 85727.

Bodman, M., 1998, Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 38,7 (Report - non-specific). SDV305931.

Bodman, M., 2003, Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 285 (Report - Interim). SDV325576.

'Luton Mill' was a former watermill in poor repair with a corrugated iron roof which was sold in 2002. A pipe from the mill pond fed a turbine installed at the beginning of 20C. The mill pond was dry in 2003.

Watts, M., 2004, Luton Mill, Bishopsteignton, Devon (Report - non-specific). SDV319945.

A record of the mill was undertaken by M Watts in 2004 for the owners. The earliest documentary reference to a mill at Luton was in 1790. In 1840 it was mentioned as 'Lewton Mills' & included the mill pond & three fields. The mill, house & former bakery form a T-shaped group of buildings with outbuildings extending to the southeast. Luton Mill may have originated in the 17C & the machinery was modified at the end of the 18C & in the mid 19C. The bakery was probably disused by the 1870s & the mill by the late 1890s when the buildings were used solely for domestic accommodation.

Waterhouse, R., 2004, Luton Mill, Luton: A Survey of the Machinery (Report - Survey). SDV347951.

A wheelpit lies on the east side of the building and formerly contained a large pitchback wheel of between 18 and 05 feet in diameter, and 2 to 3 feet breast. The water wheel appears to have been replaced during the early to mid 20th century by a water turbine.
The machinery drove two sets of millstones. The stones are unusual in that both sets were French burrs bound with iron hoops.
Despite the destruction of large parts of its machinery, the survivng parts show Luton Mill to have been a very unusual structure. The use of wheel-wrights' and blacksmiths' techniques in the construction and the almost total lack of cast iron are very unusual. The extensive use of wrought iron suggest a date in the first half of the 19th century, but using construction techniques of at least a century earlier.
The considerable gearing reduction suggests a relatively fast stone speed. This and the use of French burr stones suggests a commercial or estate mill for the production of flour for human consumption - a surprising conclusion given the mill's location and small size.
Owing to the considerable importance of the machinery, a fuller archaeological record should be made before any work to the building takes place.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV12998Un-published: Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. 1982. Mills Index. Mills Index. A4 Stapled.
SDV166087Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1963. Ordnance Survey 6 inch map. Ordnance Survey 6 inch map. Map (Paper). OS 6".
SDV305931Report - non-specific: Bodman, M.. 1998. Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 38,7.
SDV306313Worksheet: Dudley, E. R.. 1981.
SDV306314Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1906. 102SW. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 6 inch Map. Map (Paper). OS 6" 102SW.
SDV319942List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1988. Bishopsteignton. Historic Houses Register. Website. 8/298.
SDV319945Report - non-specific: Watts, M.. 2004. Luton Mill, Bishopsteignton, Devon. Martin Watts. 142/2004.
SDV325576Report - Interim: Bodman, M.. 2003. Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 285.
SDV347951Report - Survey: Waterhouse, R.. 2004. Luton Mill, Luton: A Survey of the Machinery. Robert Waterhouse Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV848Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880s. Ordnance Survey. 25". OS 25".

Associated Monuments

MDV30548Related to: Luton Mill Leat (Monument)
MDV94118Related to: Luton Mill Pond, Bishopsteignton (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV5402 - Survey of the Machinery at Luton Mill

Date Last Edited:Apr 25 2012 8:47AM