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HER Number:MDV25959
Name:Leat channels, Roundhill Farm


A complex of leats extends for 2 kilometres from the upper part of Blackbrook River and its tributaries to the lower course where the leats seem associated with the local tin streamworks.


Grid Reference:SX 607 741
Map Sheet:SX67SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX67SW100
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 910057
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67SW/173
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67SW/174

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • LEAT (Post Medieval to Early 20th Century - 1540 AD (Between) to 1901 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1890, 1301 (Aerial Photograph). SDV169268.

Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP (Cartographic). SDV319854.

Leat visible extending from SX 60167400 to SX 60637415. This leat is approximately parallel to another leat which runs alongside a little to the south:
This leat is visible between SX 60657314 and SX 60007396 where it leaves the map. It may be associated with another leat, crf: SX67SW/108. A ditch runs into this leat at SX 60127396 (visible on 1946 aerial photograph).

Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England, 1987-1993, Duchy Farms Project Survey Visit (Report - Survey). SDV350839.

(22/04/1988) A complex of leats extends for 2kms from the upper part of Blackbrook River and its tributaries to the lower course where the leats seem associated with the local tin streamworks.
They start on Tor Royal Farm as two fairly parallel leats. One, at SX 60157400, is sourced from a tributary of the Blackbrook, the other from the stream itself, 450m further W.
Where they enter the fields of Roundhill Farm they are 20m apart with a 4m difference in contour height but converge to a distance of 10m and a height difference of 2m at SX 67647421, immediately S of Roundhill house and gardens, which have apparently destroyed the courses of both leats.
In a field 90m N of the farm buildings a single leat emerges to make a broad northern loop before turning to the SE. (Initially it comes within 50m of the Wheal Harmony openworks of 1832 (SX 67 SW 322) but no clear evidence of a branch leat could be found).
At SX 61187409, on its SE extension, the leat combines with another, 650m long, sourced by the Blackbrook some 230m to the W. This continues eastwards and, via a series of extensive streamworkings, re-joins the Blackbrook at SX 61627415.
Generally the leat channels, all dry, are rather less than 1m wide and 0.2m deep and barely traceable across peat cutting areas in the northern loop. Upcast banking is usually faint, but from SX 60877424 south-eastwards to the lower leat its form changes dramatically. The channel is 1.2m wide and 0.2m deep but accompanied by a bank on the lower SW side that is between 2.5m and 3m wide and from 0.6m to 1m high. Perhaps the course necessitated an originally greater cutting: there is no obvious quarrying for material. A slight ditch on the lower side of the bank could never have produced the volume. Although there are a number of breaks in the bank to be effective it would originally have had to be continuous.
It is impossible to date these streamworking leats but reasonable to assume that the initial pair were disused when overlaid by Roundhill farm buildings which, from the Tithe Map, were being established by 1839.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV169268Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/CPE/UK/1890. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1301.
SDV319854Cartographic: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
SDV350839Report - Survey: Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England. 1987-1993. Duchy Farms Project Survey Visit. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Archaeological Survey. Unknown. [Mapped features: #133366 ; #133368 ; #133369 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV25962Related to: Leat channel east of Oakery Bridge, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV25963Related to: Quarry south of Roundhill Farm (Monument)
MDV121017Related to: Roundhill Farm, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8627 - Roundhill Farm Duchy Farms Survey
  • EDV8628 - Tor Royal Farm Duchy Farms Survey
  • EDV8409 - Dartmoor Royal Forest Project

Date Last Edited:Oct 15 2021 10:59AM