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HER Number:MDV3929
Name:The Fishlake, or Buddle

Summary

The Fishlake or Buddle, which flowed from the fields above Bannawell to join the mill stream by the Higher Abbey Gate.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 480 745
Map Sheet:SX47SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishTavistock
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTAVISTOCK

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX47SE/5

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • WATER CHANNEL (Early Medieval to XVIII - 1066 AD to 1800 AD (Between))

Full description

Hicks, C. E., 1947, Tavistock: The Changing Scene in the Last Two Centuries, 161 (Article in Serial). SDV256401.

Open conduits and mill streams ran through the streets and were not covered until the alterations of the mid 19th century. A conduit known as the Buddle began in the fields above Bannawell. It flowed from the Buddle House, ran down Lakeside, through Higher and Lower Market Streets and Bedford Street to join the mill stream by the Higher Abbey Gate. It was crossed by the Buddle Bridge at the lower end of King Street and by St Matthew's Bridge at the entrance to St Matthew's Street.


Finberg, H. P. R., 1947, The Borough of Tavistock: Its Origin and Early History, 79 (Article in Serial). SDV344360.

A little stream known as Fishlake powered a mill serving the abbey in Tavistock in the 11th century. According to a rent-roll of 1291 fifteen residents paid 2d each for having footbridges across the Fish-lake.


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

The outflow of a stream called 'Fishlake' was divided into three channels by the builders of Tavistock Abbey in the 10th century. The stream rose in a field near Hurdwick and flowed along the Billingsbear valley, 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 second channel flushed the drains that were laid beneath or alongside the western range of monastic buildings. The third channel supplied fresh water to the fishpond which, according to 'William of Malmesbury', supplied abundant fish.


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

William of Malmsbury on visiting Tavistock in the 12th century admired the town's excellent water supply. In the 18th century this comprised open channels running through the main streets of the town. The Fishlake also provided the water supply to the abbey.


The Tavistock and District Local History Society, 1994, About Tavistock: An Historical Introduction and Six Town Walks, 10, 52 (Monograph). SDV354806.

The Fishlake, which powered the abbey's corn mill, flowed from the north of the town. As it ran across what is now the square it divided into three channels, to supply the mill, the abbey and the abbey's fishponds. It is now piped underground but can be seen where it discharges into the Ravey below Abbey Bridge.


Exeter Archaeology, 1997, Archaeological Assessment of Tavistock Sewer Overflows Scheme, 3 (Report - Assessment). SDV344347.

Fishlake provided sanitation for the western range of monastic buildings, to supply the abbey fishponds and to drive the abbey mill. 16th century accounts refer to clearing this stream or 'the lake' which was apt to get choked with rubbish. The watercourse is shown on Wynne's 18th century map as still being open although it had been covered by 1842. The stream may reflect the course of the current foul water supply in Market Street and West Street.


Mettler, A.E., 2010, Field Book to the Plan of Tavistock: 1751 and 1752, 8-9, 42, 47 (Monograph). SDV350389.

The water channel shown on the town plan is variously described as 'the Buddle', ' the Lake's Side', 'the Lake' and 'the Fish Lake'.


The Tavistock Wynne Map Heritage Project, 2012, Tavistock 1752, A00, 10-13, G05-6, H01, 03, 06, I13, L00, 20-29, K00-03,N2 (Website). SDV350360.

The water channel is shown in green, flowing through meadows and orchards in the north, down Back Lane (now Lakeside), Higher Back Street, Higher Market Street, Lower Market Street and Bedford Street, then turning towards the mill leat by the Abbey Gate.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV256401Article in Serial: Hicks, C. E.. 1947. Tavistock: The Changing Scene in the Last Two Centuries. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 79. A5 Hardback. 161.
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.
SDV341346Report - Survey: Timms, S. C.. 1976. The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. A4 Unbound + Digital. 169.
SDV344347Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 1997. Archaeological Assessment of Tavistock Sewer Overflows Scheme. Exeter Archaeology Report. 97.02. A4 Stapled + Digital. 3.
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. 79.
SDV350360Website: The Tavistock Wynne Map Heritage Project. 2012. Tavistock 1752. http://www.tavistock1752.co.uk/index.cfm. Website. A00, 10-13, G05-6, H01, 03, 06, I13, L00, 20-29, K00-03,N2. [Mapped feature: #90225 ]
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. 8-9, 42, 47.
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. 10, 52.

Associated Monuments

MDV3924Related to: Tavistock Abbey Mill (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4255 - Investigations at Tavistock Sewer Improvement Scheme
  • EDV4256 - Tavistock Town Centre Enhancement Works
  • EDV4597 - Assessment of Tavistock Sewer Overflow Scheme

Date Last Edited:May 20 2019 10:13AM