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HER Number:MDV22300
Name:Higher Mill Cottages in Buckfastleigh


Higher Mill Cottages at 6-9 Higher Mill Lane in Buckfastleigh were built in the early 19th century


Grid Reference:SX 739 673
Map Sheet:SX76NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishBuckfastleigh
Ecclesiastical ParishBUCKFASTLEIGH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX76NW/23
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 392292

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • COTTAGE NON SPECIFIC (XVIII to XIX - 1800 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Manning, P. T. + Goodwin, N. + Collings, A. G., 2000, Archaeological Recording at Higher Mill Cottages, Buckfast Abbey (Report - Survey). SDV313846.

Higher Mill Cottages were recorded by Exeter Archaeology in 2000 prior to refurbishment. The three storey building is aligned north-south is located to the north of Higher Mills alongside the leat and launder.
The late 18th century structure was built in two phases for industrial use. The walls consist of limestone rubble bonded with lime mortar with brick quoins. After a major fire in 1828 it was rebuilt as three cottages and an office surmounted by a second floor drying loft. The building was re-roofed in the late 19th century and slate was hung on the west wall.

Dartmoor National Park Authority, 2001, 0148/01 (Correspondence). SDV347489.

Consent granted for the demolition of the existing building and reconstruction to represent the 'Industrial Age' of the building, The Cottages, Higher Mill Lane, Buckfast. Other details: Planning application: 0148/01.

Ordnance Survey, 2011, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV346129.

English Heritage, 2011, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV347072.

Numbers 6-9 Higher Mill Lane in Buckfastleigh was Listed on 6th January 1983. A row of cottages with probable tenter loft (oral history) over for industrial use at former woollen mill. Cottages and loft disused at time of survey in 1992. Built circa 1800 of local grey limestone rubble, upper storeys slate-hung with section of weatherboarding at right end of loft; asbestos slate roof, gabled at ends.
Plan: large rectangular building, fronting the road. Adjoining to the right is a probably slightly earlier woollen mill at one time part of the same industrial complex. The two storey cottages are two rooms on plan, the front rooms heated. Open tenter loft above with access from the woollen mill. The right hand cottage appears to have been used as an office for the woollen mill at one time, with access from inside the covered cartway at the left end of the mill.
Exterior: Two storeys and loft. Asymmetrical five-window front. Right-hand cottage/office has a recessed half-glazed front door to the left and one two and one three light ground-floor casement, four panes per light. Three first-floor late 19th or 20th century sash windows, two 6-pane and one 4-pane. Weatherboarded section to loft includes an 18-pane fixed window. The three cottages have plank doors with overlights, door of right hand cottage to the right, the left hand cottages with adjacent doors, flanked by 2 and 3-light casements, 3 panes per light. Two first floor circa 1800 16-pane sash windows. Loft blind on first floor. Left return has weatherboarded gable and one 6-light loft window to the right with lapped glass, left hand window blocked. Both windows have vertical bands of brick blocking below the sills. Rear elevation has variety of windows: some 4-pane lapped glass windows and some 4-pane horned sashes. Ground floor has some 8 over 12-pane ground floor sashes.
Interior: Left-hand cottage has simple detail consistent with a circa 1800 date. Slightly chamfered cross beam on ground floor, plastered-over crossbeam on ground and first floors; probably original stair to rear, Two panelled first floor doors, one six panel the upper panels fielded, cast-iron 19th century grate. Right hand cottage has one circa 1900 grate. Loft preserves graffiti.
Roof: Eight tiebeam trusses, mortised at the apex with high halved collars and queen posts, mortised into the principals and strapped on to them with iron shoes.
Historical note: Elizabeth Knowling has researched the documentation for Higher Mill. There was a mill on the site by at least 1730, documented as a tucking mill in 1760. In 1800 "Mills" were described as "lately erected on the site previously occupied by the tucking mill". By 1953 the mills were re-used as a plating works. Samuel Berry, the owner in the late 18th-early 19th century, built himself a house at Buckfast Abbey from re-used building material. Physical remains of the wool industry, crucial to the economy of Devon in the 16th to 18th centuries are rare in the county. This arrangement with cottages below a tenter loft is unusual, with a parallel in Chapel Street, Buckfastleigh. An important surviving example. Other details: LBS Number 392292.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV313846Report - Survey: Manning, P. T. + Goodwin, N. + Collings, A. G.. 2000. Archaeological Recording at Higher Mill Cottages, Buckfast Abbey. Exeter Archaeology Report. 00.84. A4 Bound + Digital.
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #83385 ]
SDV347072National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2011. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV347489Correspondence: Dartmoor National Park Authority. 2001. 0148/01. Listed Building Consent Application for Internal and External Alterations.. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV65649Related to: Buckfast Abbey Higher Mill Leat (Monument)
MDV7797Related to: Higher Mill, Buckfast (Building)
MDV115330Related to: Launder on piers at Higher Mill, Buckfastleigh (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV5135 - Recording at Higher Mill Cottages, Buckfast Abbey
  • EDV7290 - Watching Brief at Higher Mill, Buckfast Abbey

Date Last Edited:Jun 13 2016 3:48PM