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HER Number:MDV374
Name:Anchor Mills, formerly Halls Mill, Pilton


The mill is first referred to as a fulling mill called Halse Mills in 1724. It subsequently became a leather mill and then a corn mill. It was rebuilt in 1877 and the name Anchor Mills is thought to date from this time. The mill continued in use into the 20th century. The buildings are now converted.


Grid Reference:SS 553 346
Map Sheet:SS53SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishPilton West
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishPILTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 1545098
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS53SE/1

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • WATERMILL (Built, Post Medieval to XIX - 1540 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Griffith, F. M., Untitled Source (Report - Survey). SDV677.

Vis=17/6/1981 (griffith) mill building as described above in good condition. The leat flowing in from the north east is at present in poor condition and the water flow is temporarily cut off. The millpond (see plan) has been filled in, but is about to be re-excavated to original clay-lining for a nature sanctuary. Leat leads from a sluice and weir at ss56025509.

NDAS, Untitled Source (Report - Survey). SDV70616.

Vis=1974 (ndas) apart from the overshot water wheel the only other machinery to survive is the sluice which is made of iron, with an iron ratcher, and controlled by a handle in the mill house. The building and house adjoining are constructed of stone with red brick quoins and all are in good condition. There is a plaque on the building with an inscription (ndas).

NDAS, Untitled Source (Report - Survey). SDV70617.

Vis=1989 formerly known as halse mill (situated at end of halls mill lane) and was renamed anchor mill when it was rebuilt. The mill has not been inspected recently, but its condition is believed to be unchanged (ndas).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV70622.

Des=plan in parish file.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV70623.

Ndas/north devon watermills/(1989)34-35.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV70624.

Watermills in north devon 1994/(1995)3/in smr.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV70625.

Des=os 6"(1932/1938)/13nw.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV70626.

Des=bodman, m. /water-powered sites in devon/(1998)33 no.18/in smr.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV70627.

Bodman,m. /watermills and other water-powered sites in devon/(september 2003)232,245-246/interim draft report in smr.

BONE, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV70695.

Site name anchor mills. It stands at the end of halls mill lane, so called after a mill that stood here pre-1877. According to the stone plaque, the mill was rebuilt by william goss in 1877 and the name 'anchor' seems to originate from this date. The mill was powered by a leat from bradiford water which ran into a pond to the north of the buildings. The internal machinery was demolished in 1971. Garnish & lemon (the local millwrights) are reported as having fitted out the mill and the names of millwrights joseph j armfield (of ringwood) and w c rafarel (of the barnstaple foundry) appear on the iron pillars that support the floors (bone).

WATERMILLS, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV18616.

Vis=estimated -/-/1994 (watermills) the buildings are in beautiful condition, having been renovated for living accommodation in recent years and the character of the buildings has been preserved. There are six millstones in the garden near the parking area. Water still runs in a narrow leat (man-made to serve three mills) alongside the drive/footpath. There is a slucie gate (watermills).

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

Hall's Mill (Corn) marked, comprising an irregular shaped group of adjoining buildings with a row of four small buildings to the southwest and two mill leats form the northeast.

Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

Buildings marked as Anchor Mill (Corn).

Bone, M., 1973, Barnstaple's Industrial Archaeology, 31 (Monograph). SDV78228.

Before 1876/77, on the present site of anchor mills stood Halls Mill (flour mill). The mill has also been referred to as Round Mill or Parkins Mill. On the same site Hope Mills (woolen cloth) also stood.

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

The site originally consisted of two milling concerns. The earliest mention is as 'halse mills' in 1724 when it was a fulling mill. In 1791 it was described as a 'leather millhouse' called 'halsey mill' and as 'hulsey' in 1791. In 1877 after a fire the mills were rebuilt and renamed 'anchor mills'. In 1892 it was reported to have had a millpond and two leats. The main mill continued in use as a grist mill into c20 when power was no longer supplied by water (bodman).

University of Southampton, 2018, North Devon Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey Desk-Based Assessment, No. 46 (Interpretation). SDV361978.

According to the National Heritage Register for England (NHRE), a flour mill built in 1877 by William Goss, was rebuilt after a fire in 1888, and worked until shortly before 1971. Adjoining the mill is the miller's house, a granary, and a worker's cottage.

Unknown, Undated, Mill (Worksheet). SDV358967.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV18616Migrated Record: WATERMILLS.
SDV305931Report - non-specific: Bodman, M.. 1998. Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound.
SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV358967Worksheet: Unknown. Undated. Mill.
SDV361978Interpretation: University of Southampton. 2018. North Devon Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey Desk-Based Assessment. RCZAS. Digital. No. 46.
SDV677Report - Survey: Griffith, F. M..
SDV70616Report - Survey: NDAS.
SDV70617Report - Survey: NDAS.
SDV70622Migrated Record:
SDV70623Migrated Record:
SDV70624Migrated Record:
SDV70625Migrated Record:
SDV70626Migrated Record:
SDV70627Migrated Record:
SDV70695Migrated Record: BONE.
SDV78228Monograph: Bone, M.. 1973. Barnstaple's Industrial Archaeology. Barnstaple's Industrial Archaeology. A5 Paperback. 31.

Associated Monuments

MDV375Parent of: Waterwheel at Anchor Mills, Pilton (Monument)
MDV68213Related to: Mill Leat to Halls, Lions and Bradiford Mills (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Mar 5 2019 3:30PM