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HER Number:MDV37046
Name:Boyton or Northcott Mill, Northcott


Boyton Mill was rebuilt in the early 19th century with four pairs of millstones, although it is described in 1814 as having only three pairs of stones. Much of the machinery and the waterwheel are still extant.


Grid Reference:SX 330 921
Map Sheet:SX39SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishNorthcott
Ecclesiastical ParishNORTHCOTT

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX39SW/515
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 90681

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • WATERMILL (Unknown date)

Full description

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

'Boyton Mill (Corn)' marked on the 1880s-1890s 25 inch Ordnance Survey map. The millbuilding is situated at the north end of the site over a water course. The additional buildings to the south are presumably the dwelling house, barn and 'other buildings' referred to in the sales notice of 1814.

Ordnance Survey, 1907, 74SW (Cartographic). SDV20208.

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

'Boyton Mill' shown.

Bodman, M., 1998, Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 29.79 (Report - non-specific). SDV305931.

Bodman, M., 2003, Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 208 (Report - Interim). SDV325576.

Boynton Mills or Northcott Hamlet Mills is described in 1812 as having 4 pairs of millstones with a dwelling and all other necessary buildings, the mill having been rebuilt within the last four years. In a subsequent sale notice of 1814 these other buildings are described as a barn, stable and other outhouses. According to the latter notice, the mill, with three pairs of stones, machinery and also the barn and other buildings, except the dwellling house, were rebuilt circa 1808.

English Heritage, 2011, Historic Houses Register (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV346128.

Millbuilding about 15 metres north of Boyton Mill. Early 19th century, some rebuilding of the late 20th century. Stone rubble with hipped slate roof, some brick courses under the eaves, the left end partly rebuilt in concrete block.
The right-hand of the building contains the machinery powered by an overshot water
wheel on the rear of the building. The left-hand end, which has been partly rebuilt in the 20th century and converted to a workshop, was a covered area for waggons collecting flour and delivering grain. Three storeys to the right, two to the left. The front elevation has two ground floor entrances and two first floor windows, the left-hand window 20th century, the right-hand window probably 19th century with a timber lintel.
Interior: Three floors of surviving machinery. Collar rafter roof trusses. The mill is documented as having been 'rebuilt' in the early 19th century. The present owner has a full history of the mill which was formerly called Northcott Mill. Date listed: 9th January 1986.

Knight, S., 2011, Site Visit to Lower Northcott Farm (Personal Comment). SDV347033.

Site visit 31st March 2011. Boynton Mill was restored some time ago, the wheel did turn but has now stopped. The mill still contains some fixtures.

Ordnance Survey, 2015, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV357601.

Laing-Trengove, D., 2016, Boyton Mill, Northcott, Boyton (Report - Survey). SDV359736.

Building recording at Boyton Mill was commissioned as part of a required condition of planning consent.

The documentary evidence states that there has been a mill or mills within the manor of Northcott since at least the 13th century. It is possible that Boyton Mill occupies one of these early sites. 16th century records suggest that the Trick family may have tenanted Northcott mill from as early as 1560, after which time the mill became known as Tricks Mill; a name that endured into the 19th century. Fluctuations in the viability of the mill during the Napoleonic war period, leading to frequent changes of both owner and tenant in the early 19th century, give a context for a rebuilding of the mill with two waterwheels and four pairs of stones early in the century, followed only a few years later with the building offered for sale with only three pairs of millstones.

The existing building retains some of the fabric from the period before the early 19th century when
the mill appears to have been rebuilt on the footprint of an earlier structure. Although there is no
clear evidence for the building housing two mills prior to this time, elements within the earlier
remaining structure, such as the interior ground floor fireplace and flue and some timber elements
at the existing first floor level support an early internal arrangement of the mill gearing against the
north wall. In the later 19th century, circa 1880, during the ownership of the Oliver family, a single
storey open fronted cart shed was added to the west end and the building was raised. Internally, at the eastern end, the building was altered to accommodate the current layshaft drive with the stone floor above lowered to accommodate the two pairs of millstones. A larger loft space was formed with the raising of the walls and new roof structure was formed, reusing some early 19th century timbers.

In the early part of the 20th century a single storey extension was added to the east end of the mill building, this was repaired and reroofed in the late 20th century. The western end of the building was substantially rebuilt and the interior modified at this time, with the ground floor infilled with rubble, a ramp built up to first floor level and a raised floor added to the loft space above. The roof structure was strengthened with added timbers and new rafters fitted under reused slates. The proposed works will have only a minimal impact on the remaining historic fabric of the building, as the majority of historic elements are located within the eastern end of the building at ground and first floor level which are to remains.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV166087Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1963. Ordnance Survey 6 inch map. Ordnance Survey 6 inch map. Map (Paper).
SDV20208Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1907. 74SW. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 6 inch Map. Map (Paper).
SDV305931Report - non-specific: Bodman, M.. 1998. Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 29.79.
SDV325576Report - Interim: Bodman, M.. 2003. Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 208.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV346128List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: English Heritage. 2011. Historic Houses Register. Historic Houses Register. Website.
SDV347033Personal Comment: Knight, S.. 2011. Site Visit to Lower Northcott Farm. Not Applicable.
SDV357601Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2015. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #89304 ]
SDV359736Report - Survey: Laing-Trengove, D.. 2016. Boyton Mill, Northcott, Boyton. Laing-Trengrove, D.. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV37047Related to: Boyton Mill Leat, Northcott (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7049 - Historic Building Recording, Boyton Mill, Northcott, Boyton

Date Last Edited:Aug 11 2016 11:09AM