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HER Number:MDV21285
Name:Shillamill, Gulworthy


Shillamill, Gulworthy.


Grid Reference:SX 466 720
Map Sheet:SX47SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishGulworthy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTAVISTOCK

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Structures, earthworks and below-ground mining features associated with Wheal Crebor Mine including a former canal and railway, east of Buctor Farm

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX47SE/109
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MILL (Early Medieval to XXI - 1066 AD to 2009 AD (Between))

Full description

Unknown, Shillamill Aqueduct (Plan - sketch). SDV354816.

Plans of aquaduct and canal barge.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV148.

’shillamill’ is shown on os 25” (1880s)map as a group of buildings around an irregular shaped yard with a small enclosure to the east. The later large irregular shaped building is to the west (os).

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

Vis=estimated -/-/1973 (anon).15th century mill.(dcc mills survey).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV247904.


1905/1938, Untitled Source (Report - Survey). SDV247906.

Vis='shillamill' marked on os 6" (1905/1938) map (os).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV247909.

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

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV247910.

Des=os 6"(1905/1938)105se.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV247911.

Bodman, m. /water-powered sites in devon/(1998)30.9/in smr.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV247912.

Des=bodman, m. /watermills and other water-powered sites in devon/(september 2003)227/interim draft report in smr.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV247913.

Des=os 25” (1880s).

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

Described in 1545 as ‘shillamill’, in 1770 as ‘shellamill’ and in 1841 as ‘shillamill manganese mill’ (bodman).

Buck, C., 2015, Buctor Farm, Tavistock (Report - Assessment). SDV359746.

This study was commissioned by the landowner on behalf of Natural England as part of a Higher Level Environmental Stewardship Agreement Scheme and produced by Cornwall Archaeological Unit, Cornwall Council.

This site should not be confused with Shillamill (medieval) corn mill to the north (Site 16). Figure 3, the 1765 map shows the site in detail, as well as its leat supply. However, given the nature of the drawn feature it appears that this is another later addition to the map. The mill appears to post-date the 1803 Tavistock canal, and in fact its leat supply appears to have come from the canal (possibly via the primary site of the water engine water wheel; Site 42).

The documentary evidence (Section 4.2.5, 1815 date), mentions Manganese mine exports; ‘From this year there were shipments of manganese from mines around Brentor and Milton Abbot carried by the canal. These were the principal sources of manganese in the country at a time when it was used in the manufacture of glass. For example 13,335 tons were shipped to Plymouth in 1819. The ore was ground in a mill powered by the Morwellham water wheel (Booker 1976, 19), and exported in casks. Site 15, the Shillamill Manganese Mill, may well have processed (and exported) some this material via the canal, or perhaps from closer mines in the Tavy Valley’. The site is mentioned in the 1840s by Bodman (1981). R. Waterhouse (pers comm) states; ‘This was described in a lease of 1841 from the Duke of Bedford to Jehu Hitchins, and a lease of 1842 from the Duke of Bedford and John Hitchins to Ebenezer Waugh Fernie, as having been built by Jehu Hitchins in 1840 to grind manganese ores from mines in Brentor Parish… An additional plan of the water supply shows it taken from the tailrace of a wheel which served the Wheal Crebor ore crusher, contradicting the Estate Map, the 1842 Tithe Map and Symons’ 1848 map’. The site is also shown on the 1842 (Fig 6) and 1848 (Fig 7), but the building is not shown on the 1859 (Fig 8) or later maps, although the leat is shown up to 1867 (Fig 9). It is quite possible that the Manganese mill at Morwellham (working from 1826; Patrick, 1989, 30), took away much of its trade via the Tavistock Canal.

There is no evidence of the site at ground level. The landowner (D Hutchins pers comm) levelled the site and excavated a large pond nearby (Site 57). It may be possible that any site foundations are in situ, as part of the mill ‘footprint’ ground level has been artificially raised by approximately 1m – presumably from material excavated to form the adjacent pond. The original mill tail race running under the adjacent road and thence to the River Tavy is still in situ. The line of the original leat supply from the canal to the manganese mill is close to the western valley bottom hedge line – but visual evidence has now been lost, although parts may have been reused to site the later pump house leat (Site 53.1).


There may be foundation remains of the building under the build of material near the pond. It is recommended that no further excavation within or adjacent to the building’s former site is undertaken.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV148Migrated Record:
SDV178159Migrated Record: DCC MILLS SURVEY.
SDV247904Migrated Record:
SDV247906Report - Survey: 1905/1938.
SDV247909Migrated Record:
SDV247910Migrated Record:
SDV247911Migrated Record:
SDV247912Migrated Record:
SDV247913Migrated Record:
SDV305931Report - non-specific: Bodman, M.. 1998. Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound.
SDV354816Plan - sketch: Unknown. Shillamill Aqueduct. Survey Drawing. Plan.
SDV359746Report - Assessment: Buck, C.. 2015. Buctor Farm, Tavistock. Cornwall Archaeological Unit. 2015R055. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV106396Related to: Leat to West of River Lumburn (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7058 - Archaeological Management Plan, Buctor Farm, Tavistock (Ref: 2015R055)

Date Last Edited:May 9 2019 5:49PM