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HER Number:MDV3924
Name:Tavistock Abbey Mill

Summary

One of three mills associated with Tavistock Abbey, shown on mid 18th century plan of the town close to the site of the Guildhall.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 482 744
Map Sheet:SX47SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishTavistock
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTAVISTOCK

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX47SE/1/4

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • WATERMILL (XI to XVIII - 1001 AD to 1800 AD (Between))
  • CORN MILL (Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

Radford, G. H., 1914, Tavistock Abbey, 153 (Article in Serial). SDV136050.

Mill of Tavistock Abbey was demolished 1830-40 to make way for the present Guildhall.


Hicks, H. R., 1942-1946, Drake's Weir, Tavistock, 299-300 (Article in Serial). SDV350139.

Old ‘Abbey Mill’ on the site of the Guildhall.


Hicks, C. E., 1947, Tavistock: The Changing Scene in the Last Two Centuries, 165 (Article in Serial). SDV256401.

Two grist mills were worked by the millstream which arose at the weir at Parkwood. One was in Bedford Street, between the entrance to St Matthew's Street and the Higher Gate.


Finberg, H. P. R., 1947, The Borough of Tavistock: Its Origin and Early History, 136 (Article in Serial). SDV344360.

A mill was situated on or close to the site of the present Guildhall. The mill was driven by water from a small stream known as the Fishlake. Described in Domesday Book as serving the domestic needs of the monastery. The mill stood within the abbey precinct but as it was not sufficient for the needs of an expanding town, a new mill was built outside the precinct on the site of the present Town Hall.


Finberg, H. P. R., 1969, Tavistock Abbey: A Study in the Social and Economic History in Devon, 159 (Monograph). SDV256440.

The outflow of Fishlake was divided into three channels by the builders of the abbey in the 10th century. It flowed down Lakeside and Market Street. One outlet was carried by two right-angle turns round the main gateway and across the great courtyard to drive the abbey mill. The other channels supplied a fishpond and flushed the drains of the western range of monastic buildings.


Timms, S. C., 1976, The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft, 166, 169 (Report - Survey). SDV341346.

The first mill in Tavistock is documented in 1086, the sacristan owned a tanning mill in 1291 and the first reference to a fulling mill occurs in 1388.


Turton, S. D. + Weddell, P. J., 1991, Archaeological Assessment of Four Areas of Land Adjoining the River Tavy and Plymouth Road, Tavistock, 5 (Report - Assessment). SDV256444.


The Tavistock and District Local History Society, 1994, About Tavistock: An Historical Introduction and Six Town Walks, 31, 46, 49-50 (Monograph). SDV354806.

The abbey's mill stood in the south-east corner of Bedford Square on the site of the guildhall. Power was initially provided by the Fishlake, a stream flowing from the north of the town but later it was powered by the Mill Brook, a leat cut from the River Tavy about a mile upstream.


Freeman, M. + Wans, J., 1996, Tavistock Abbey: Alternative Interpretations, 30-31 (Article in Serial). SDV249301.

Only 'a' watermill is mentioned in the earliest 'Abbey Scite' leases. G. H. Radford, in her plan 2, shows it was approximately on the site of the present police station. In the 16th century leases, this was the corn mill 'intra portam'. In the 18th century there were three corn mills by the Fishlake and a malt mill at the east end of Lower Brook Street.


Bodman, M., 1998, Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 30: 22-23 (Report - non-specific). SDV305931.

Abbey Mill was illustrated by Swete in the late 18th century and Abbots Mill watercourse was mentioned in 1449.


Bodman, M., 2003, Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 219, 228 (Report - Interim). SDV325576.


Mettler, A.E., 2010, Field Book to the Plan of Tavistock: 1751 and 1752, 29 (Monograph). SDV350389.

F5: three corn mills, including one adjoining the pound.


The Tavistock Wynne Map Heritage Project, 2012, Tavistock 1752, F5 (Website). SDV350360.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV136050Article in Serial: Radford, G. H.. 1914. Tavistock Abbey. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 46. A5 Hardback. 153.
SDV249301Article in Serial: Freeman, M. + Wans, J.. 1996. Tavistock Abbey: Alternative Interpretations. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 128. A5 Paperback. 30-31.
SDV256401Article in Serial: Hicks, C. E.. 1947. Tavistock: The Changing Scene in the Last Two Centuries. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 79. A5 Hardback. 165.
SDV256440Monograph: Finberg, H. P. R.. 1969. Tavistock Abbey: A Study in the Social and Economic History in Devon. Tavistock Abbey: A Study in the Social and Economic History in Devon. Unknown. 159.
SDV256444Report - Assessment: Turton, S. D. + Weddell, P. J.. 1991. Archaeological Assessment of Four Areas of Land Adjoining the River Tavy and Plymouth Road, Tavistock. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. 91.33. A4 Stapled + Digital. 5.
SDV305931Report - non-specific: Bodman, M.. 1998. Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 30: 22-23.
SDV325576Report - Interim: Bodman, M.. 2003. Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 219, 228.
SDV341346Report - Survey: Timms, S. C.. 1976. The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. A4 Unbound + Digital. 166, 169.
SDV344360Article in Serial: Finberg, H. P. R.. 1947. The Borough of Tavistock: Its Origin and Early History. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 79. A5 Hardback. 136.
SDV350139Article in Serial: Hicks, H. R.. 1942-1946. Drake's Weir, Tavistock. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 22. Unknown. 299-300.
SDV350360Website: The Tavistock Wynne Map Heritage Project. 2012. Tavistock 1752. http://www.tavistock1752.co.uk/index.cfm. Website. F5. [Mapped feature: #90186 ]
SDV350389Monograph: Mettler, A.E.. 2010. Field Book to the Plan of Tavistock: 1751 and 1752. Field Book to the Plan of Tavistock: 1751 and 1752. Paperback Volume. 29.
SDV354806Monograph: The Tavistock and District Local History Society. 1994. About Tavistock: An Historical Introduction and Six Town Walks. About Tavistock: An Historical Introduction and Six Town Walks. A5 Paperback. 31, 46, 49-50.

Associated Monuments

MDV3919Part of: Tavistock Abbey (Monument)
MDV4074Related to: Corn Mill, Tavistock Abbey (Monument)
MDV19146Related to: Mill Brook, Tavistock (Monument)
MDV3929Related to: The Fishlake, or Buddle (Monument)
MDV3925Related to: Town Corn Mill, Tavistock (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Feb 13 2015 10:13AM