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HER Number:MDV27493
Name:The Bradford Pool Leat

Summary

Also called The Bradford Tinwork Leat, this was dug in the 16th century to supply the tinworking at Bradford Pool, near Chagford. It covered a distance of 19 kilometres; the longest leat constructed by Devon tinners. It was the subject of a documented court case in 1699 regarding rights to water use. The leat cuts through several reaves on Throwleigh Common, though avoids hut circles. Leat surveyed on Gidleigh Common in the Dartmoor Trust Leats Project running from SX64108784 - SX66018796 and SX66578790 supplies farms at Creaber and Berrydown. Article from 2015 published research mapping the full extent of this leat through enclosed land to Bradford Pool.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 668 897
Map Sheet:SX68NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishGidleigh
Civil ParishThrowleigh
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishGIDLEIGH
Ecclesiastical ParishTHROWLEIGH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX 68 NW 125
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68NW/96
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX69SE/148
  • Old SAM Ref: 28694 (PART)
  • Pastscape: 1398487
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • LEAT (Constructed, XV to XVI - 1500 AD to 1550 AD (Between))

Full description

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

Leat partly depicted on the First Edition Ordnance Survey map (approximately 1880s in date) but not named.


Royal Air Force, 1947, RAF/CPE/UK/2082, 3385, 4381-2 (Aerial Photograph). SDV221887.


Costello, L. M., 1981, The Bradford Pool Case, 59-77 (Article in Serial). SDV222290.

Reference to tin mining at Bradeford Pool date to 1539 and by 1580 a 12 mile leat had been constructed from Watern Combe, to power machinery to process the ore and drain the workings at a cost of £1,500. In 1698, the miners were taken to court over rights to possession to the water in the Bradford leat.


Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Interpretation). SDV319854.

Leat visible on aerial photograph and recorded on map overlay.
Possible leat extending between two areas of streamwork SX 6389 8766. Visible on 1947 Royal Air Force aerial photograph (4381-2).


Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset., MPP 148970, 10/4/1997 (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

SX65779081 Length of leat leading to Moor Farm lying within an earlier coaxial field system on Throwleigh Common. Leat leading from SX65449034 cutting through the Throwleigh Common coaxial field system to Moor Farm. Within the monument its dimensions vary considerably but at one point it measures 1.7 metres wide, 0.7 metres deep with an associated bank measuring 2 metres wide and 0.6 metres high.


Butler, J., 1991, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North, 197; Map 39.1 (Monograph). SDV219155.


Brewer, D., 1992, The Gidleigh Mill and Bradford Tinworks Leats Part One, 8-9 (Article in Serial). SDV361925.

Author recounts details of the 17th century dispute over water rights here, culminating in a court case in 1699 between the Lord of the Manor of Gidleigh and the tinners of Bradford Pool. Discussion over the course of the leats including Gidleigh Mill Leat (MDV27708) and proposed sketch map of routes over the moor included.


Brewer, D., 1992, The Gidleigh Mill and Bradford Tinworks Leats Part Two, 24-25 (Article in Serial). SDV361926.

Further discussion of the route of the leats and historical disputes.


Newman , P., 2007, Throwleigh Common, Throwleigh, Devon. A 'Premier Archaeological Landscape' within Dartmoor National Park Level 2 Survey Report, 6 (Report - Survey). SDV360261.

The Bradford Pool leat, dug in the 16th century (Costello, 1981) traverses the site from south to north. To the south it emerges from the boggy area on the unnamed tributary, then follows the contour for most of its course, though occasionally dipping in height. North of the common it dips suddenly to disappear into the enclosed land.
The leat consists of a dry channel of up to 1 metre wide with a substantial upcast bank on the downslope side. It cuts through several reaves as it transects the reave system on Throwleigh Common, though miraculously avoiding hut circles, it has come very close in two places (huts 13 and 17).


Dartmoor Trust and Dartmoor National Park Authority, 2010, Dartmoor Trust Leats Project 2009-2010 (Report - Survey). SDV347530.

Gidleigh Leat surveyed and recorded flowing between SX 640879 - SX660880 (Gallaven Brook). Reasonable flow. Moorland section across very boggy grounds. Attractive feature at Scorhill stone circle. Needs some clearance in places. Emerges to cross common at Scorhill moorgate, then through enclosures to Creaber moorgate, crosses track and enters fields. Other details: T:\Dartmoor Leats Survey / Q:\MAPDATA\HISTORIC\LeatsProject.


Moss, M. W., 2015, The Bradford Tinwork Leat and Its Route: Through Enclosed Ground, 155-184 (Article in Serial). SDV361921.

Investigation of the 16th century Bradford Tinwork Leat, both over the moorland, but also through the enclosed land (this section of the leat previously little-known). Fieldwork and desk-research used to re-create the route of the leat and describe its extant remains.
The tinwork at Bradford Pool is recorded in historical documents indicating it was worked from at least the 16th century. The leat is 19 kilometres (12 miles) in length; the longest constructed by Devon tinners. The route over the moor from its source at the Walla Brook can still be traced to the valley of the Blackaton Brook, but it has not previously be mapped beyond this point through the enclosed land. Author reviews earlier discussions (Costello and Brewer) on the leat and refers to Gidleigh Mill Leat, which pre-dated this.
The leat was an impressive feat of engineering, and followed a circuitous route involving a wooden aqueduct said to be nearly a quarter of a mile (400 metres) in length. It crosses five streams but these were all already in use as power sources to other mills. Part of the route through enclosed land respected the field boundaries as indicated on the Tithe Map. Although no longer visible, where it crossed Whiddon Down has been suggested from the testimony of William Beer. See article for full detail.


National Monument Record, 2017, Pastscape (Website). SDV359964.

The Bradford Pool leat, dug in the 16th century, is now dry an silted, but diverted water from the head of Gallaven Brook and across the west and south sides of Kennon Hill as far as Bradford Pool where it supplied tinworks. The leat consists of a dry channel of up to 1m wide with a substantial upcast bank on the downslope side. It cuts through several reaves as it transects the reave system on Throwleigh Common, though miraculously avoiding hut circles, it has come very close in two places. The leat has only been surveyed on parts of its moorland section (citing Newman, P., 30/01/2004, English Heritage Field Investigation).

Sources / Further Reading

SDV219155Monograph: Butler, J.. 1991. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Two. Paperback Volume. 197; Map 39.1.
SDV221887Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK/2082. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. 3385, 4381-2.
SDV222290Article in Serial: Costello, L. M.. 1981. The Bradford Pool Case. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 113. Unknown. 59-77.
SDV277946Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. MPP 148970, 10/4/1997.
SDV319854Interpretation: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV347530Report - Survey: Dartmoor Trust and Dartmoor National Park Authority. 2010. Dartmoor Trust Leats Project 2009-2010. Dartmoor Trust. Digital.
SDV359964Website: National Monument Record. 2017. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk. Website.
SDV360261Report - Survey: Newman , P.. 2007. Throwleigh Common, Throwleigh, Devon. A 'Premier Archaeological Landscape' within Dartmoor National Park Level 2 Survey Report. English Heritage. 40/2007. A4 Bound. 6.
SDV361921Article in Serial: Moss, M. W.. 2015. The Bradford Tinwork Leat and Its Route: Through Enclosed Ground. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 147. Paperback Volume. 155-184. [Mapped feature: #85741 ]
SDV361925Article in Serial: Brewer, D.. 1992. The Gidleigh Mill and Bradford Tinworks Leats Part One. Dartmoor Magazine. 27. Magazine. 8-9.
SDV361926Article in Serial: Brewer, D.. 1992. The Gidleigh Mill and Bradford Tinworks Leats Part Two. Dartmoor Magazine. 28. Magazine. 24-25.

Associated Monuments

MDV77124Related to: Berrydown farmstead, Gidleigh (Monument)
MDV8449Related to: Bradford Pool Tin Mine, Drewsteignton (Monument)
MDV27708Related to: Gidleigh Mill Leat (Monument)
MDV59281Related to: Hut 13 in settlement on Throwleigh Common (Monument)
MDV7019Related to: Hut 16 in settlement on Throwleigh Common (Monument)
MDV59291Related to: Hut 17 in settlement on Throwleigh Common (Monument)
MDV59289Related to: Hut 19 in settlement on Throwleigh Common (Monument)
MDV7013Related to: Hut 22 in settlement on Throwleigh Common (Monument)
MDV59583Related to: Hut circle settlement, Gidleigh Common (Monument)
MDV77676Related to: North Creaber farmstead, Gidleigh (Monument)
MDV80481Related to: Ramsley Mine Leat, South Tawton (Monument)
MDV28158Related to: Reave linking the Throwleigh Common reave system with settlements to the south-west (Monument)
MDV78115Related to: Scorhill Farm, Gidleigh (Monument)
MDV77682Related to: Scorhill farmstead, Gidleigh (Monument)
MDV16869Related to: South Creaber Farmstead, Gidleigh (Monument)
MDV6122Related to: Stone circle, Scorhill Down (Monument)
MDV27718Related to: Streamworks west of Rippator along Gallaven Brook (Monument)
MDV27495Related to: Throwleigh Common parallel reave system (Monument)
MDV20883Related to: TIN MILL in the Parish of Drewsteignton (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7297 - Survey of Throwleigh Common Premier Archaeological Landscape

Date Last Edited:Dec 3 2018 11:32AM