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HER Number:MDV31742
Name:Iron Mills


Former watermill, now converted to residential use, thought to date from 17th century. The cast iron waterwheel with wooden buckets is in excellent condition.


Grid Reference:SS 488 370
Map Sheet:SS43NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBraunton
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBRAUNTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS43NE/157

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MILL (Post Medieval to XIX - 1540 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1905, 8SE (Cartographic). SDV17296.

'Iron Mill' shown.

Ordnance Survey, 1963, Ordnance Survey 6 inch map (Cartographic). SDV166087.

Iron Mills not marked.

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

Visited 1974. The overshot waterwheel is constructed of cast iron with wooden buckets, and placed on the outside of the building. It is 12 feet in diameter by 5 feet 1 inch wide and is in excellent condition. It was made by C. Rafarel of Barnstaple. The machinery and millstones have gone. The mill building, and the mill house which is attached, are constructed of stone, in good condition. The leat taken from the River Caen, is 4ft 6in wide and from 3 feet deep. The mill no longer operates, and last worked as a flour mill in 1947. Iin 1974 it was generating some electricity, and the river authority proposed to charge for water coming in and out of the leat.

University of the Third Age, 1995, Watermills in North Devon 1994, 63 (Monograph). SDV74915.

Visited 1994. The building, which is thought to date from about 1600, is in good condition. It has now been converted to living accommodation. A wooden structure on the roof once supported a hoist. The wheel turns and is in excellent condition. It needed little attention after being stationary for 30 years, and is completely made of iron. The name C. Rafarel is stamped on the wheel and on the sluice gates.(C. Rafarel of Barnstaple who equipped the mill went out of business in 1896). It is a breast-shot wheel. The wheel is wide and squat. There are peripheral cogs on it which worked a shaft into an adjacent building. The leat is in excellent condition.

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

Other details: Site 2.

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

Live leat, although weir would need repair to maximise flow. Breastshot waterwheel with ring gear reputedly by W.C. Rafarel of Barnstaple. Last worked as a corn mill in 1947. For sale when visited in 1994, visible from St. Brannoc's churchyard.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV166087Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1963. Ordnance Survey 6 inch map. Ordnance Survey 6 inch map. Map (Paper).
SDV17296Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1905. 8SE. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 6 inch Map. Map (Paper).
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.
SDV337776Monograph: North Devon Archaeological Society. 1989. North Devon Watermills. North Devon Watermills. A5 Paperback. 43.
SDV74915Monograph: University of the Third Age. 1995. Watermills in North Devon 1994. Watermills in North Devon 1994. A5 Paperback. 63.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jan 22 2009 1:51PM