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HER Number:MDV31642
Name:Knowle Mill, Braunton


Knowle Mill, described as a substantial stone and slate building in early 20th century, has now been incorporated within other buildings. The overshot waterwheel and pit wheel survive, although walled in.


Grid Reference:SS 491 386
Map Sheet:SS43NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBraunton
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBRAUNTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS43NE/87

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

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

'Corn Mill' marked.

Ordnance Survey, 1905, 8NE (Cartographic). SDV59307.

Slee, A. H., 1941, Braunton and its Manors, 198 (Article in Serial). SDV83677.

The manorial mill (of the manor of Braunton Dean) was at Knowle on the site now occupied by the building works of J. Dennis and Son. This mill later became one of the largest flour mills in North Devon.

Ordnance Survey, 1963, SS43NE (Cartographic). SDV336850.

'Mills' shown.

North Devon Archaeological Society, 1989, North Devon Watermills, 43 (Monograph). SDV337776.

Knowle Mill. The overshot waterwheel is constructed of cast iron with wooden buckets, it is 18 feet in diameter by 6 feet wide. The machinery has gone, apart from a damaged pit wheel, and an iron drive wheel which is 12 feet in diameter. The mill house has been incorporated in other buildings and nothing of the character of the original mill can be seen. The wheel is hidden beneath a new building. The mill is situated on the Caen, which is 5 feet wide by 2 feet deep. It was last used in 1946. A local resident believes the mill was formerly used as a sawmill, and also to generate electricity for Knowle and part of Braunton. According to one local this was some of the earliest electricity in use in North Devon.

University of the Third Age, 1995, Watermills in North Devon 1994, 67 (Monograph). SDV74915.

The mill building is in good condition but seems to contain no machinery. It does contain the remains of the waterwheel and the pit wheel but these were walled in by present owners when the building was adapted for car restoration. Nothing can be clearly see of the leat. It is reported to have run from the east side of the A361, north of the mill, alongside the road, passing below the road, then down the bank under another bridge to the wheel. The mill race discharged into the river Caen. The bridges and the stream bed down the bank are discernible. Is believed to have been originally the manorial mill of Knowle.

Bodman, M., 1998, Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 33 (Report - non-specific). SDV305931.

Other details: No 4.

Bodman, M., 2003, Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 250-1 (Report - Interim). SDV325576.

Sale notice in Western Times, 31st May 1843, refers to 'Knoll Mills', a grist mill with three pairs of stones, five of the stones being French. According to an auction notice in The Miller, 6th April 1903, 'Knowle Mills' was 'very substantially build of stone and slated, five floors each about 64 feet long by 26 feet wide, fitted with a powerful overshot waterwheel 18 feet diameter and 6 feet wide'.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV305931Report - non-specific: Bodman, M.. 1998. Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 33.
SDV325576Report - Interim: Bodman, M.. 2003. Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 250-1.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336850Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1963. SS43NE. Ordnance Survey 6 inch map. Map (Paper).
SDV337776Monograph: North Devon Archaeological Society. 1989. North Devon Watermills. North Devon Watermills. A5 Paperback. 43.
SDV59307Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1905. 8NE. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 6 inch Map. Map (Paper).
SDV74915Monograph: University of the Third Age. 1995. Watermills in North Devon 1994. Watermills in North Devon 1994. A5 Paperback. 67.
SDV83677Article in Serial: Slee, A. H.. 1941. Braunton and its Manors. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 73. Hardback Volume. 198.

Associated Monuments

MDV16297Related to: Knowle Manor House (Monument)
MDV73690Related to: Mill Leat, Knowle Mill, Braunton (Monument)
MDV73689Related to: Millpond, Knowle Mill, Braunton (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jul 10 2018 12:50PM