HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.

HER Number:MDV4744
Name:Stowford Paper Mill, Harford, Ivybridge


The first papermill on the site was built in 1787. The site was redeveloped by John Allen in the mid 19th century. Despite a fire in 1914 which destroyed the upper floors of the rag store, which were rebuilt in steel, and 20th century development of the site, Stowford Mill still retains many features and details of John Allen's mill including the principal granite and brick building dated 1862 and the brick-built finishing rooms with salles above. The site also retains evidence for the development of the motive power, firstly by water and then by steam, which drove the various machines including a leat, turbine pit and the remains of drive shafting in the main building and engine houses and a tall brick chimney at the west end of the mill.


Grid Reference:SX 636 566
Map Sheet:SX65NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishIvybridge
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishCORNWOOD
Ecclesiastical ParishHARFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX65NW/44
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PAPER MILL (XVIII to XXI - 1751 AD to 2009 AD)

Full description

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV170700.

Harris, h. /industrial archaeology of dartmoor/(1968)201,128.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV170701.

Des=parish checklist/harford.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV170702.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV170703.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV170704.

Shorter, a. H. /82(1950)209,211/paper making industry in devon.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV170705.

Shorter, a. H. /dcnq/23(1947-1949)100/paper mills in devon and cornwall.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV170706.

Jenkins, r. /dcnq/15(1928-1929)153/paper mills in devon.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV170707.

Shorter, a. H. /dcnq/20(1938-1939)35/paper mills in devon.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV170708.

Des=dcc/survey of watermills in devon/(1974)gazetteer.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV170709.

Doe/hhr:south hams(2/2/1984)35.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV170710.

Collings, a. G. /archaeological assessment of sww south east plymouth water supply/(1993)5/(emafu report 93.40).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV170711.

Bodman, m. /water-powered sites in devon/(1998)12.22/in smr.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV170712.

Des=minchinton, w. /industrial archaeology in devon/(1973)19.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV170713.

Des=bodman, m. /watermills and other water-powered sites in devon/(september 2003)97-98/interim draft report in smr.

HARRIS, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV22166.

The first mill known as ‘stowford lodge paper mills’. Built in 1787. It produced hand made paper. New machinery installed in 1837 and 1860's. Large building programme in 1860's. Most of original mill has disappeared, only remnants being the main office block and a house near the present mill (harris).

Minchinton, W., Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV2310.

’ivybridge paper mill’ had a mid c19 ‘donkin machine’ (minchinton).

Department of Environment, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV326193.

Dated 1862. Coursed and dressed granite ground, first and second storeys. Red brick above with yellow brick dressings. Large rectangular building. Six storeys. Nine by five bays. First three storeys of nine bay front have only five windows per storey. Round arched iron frame with keystones. Right and doorway on each floor with iron fire escape. String course at third floor level inscribed "stowford paper mills ad 1862". Water tank over roof at left hand (west) end. Engine house, dated 1914, with tall brick chimney, at west end (doe).

SHORTER, 1950, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV34056.

Vis=-/-/1978 (hankin) several periods are represented in the present structures.1859-62 granite buildings for offices and part of the mill. Rebuilding of the upper part of the mill, damaged by fire in 1914, was done in red brick. The boiler house and smoke stack are also in red brick. Later extensions are in modern materials, and are still going on. The bridge over the river giving access to the mill yard from the west has "j a 1859" inscribed. The south facing wall of the main mill, at the top course of granite has "stowford paper mills a. D.1862". The brick boiler house has "1914". The sketch on the worksheet shows the relative position of the present layout to that of the old stowford corn mills, and the paper mill buildings as shown on the tithe map. Stowford mill has been operating as a paper mill since 1808. One of the few devon mills which produced white paper for writing or printing in the 19th century (shorter,1950).

Devon County Council, 1838-1848, Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848 (Cartographic). SDV349431.

The Tithe Map shows the paper mill building with a waterwheel at the southern end of the site with a small millpond and leat adjacent to its north-east corner. To the west of the paper mill is a corn mill with the mill house in front of it.

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

Comparison with the Tithe Map shows the paper mill to have been rebuilt and greatly enlarged in size with a new, larger mill pond to the north-east and an engine house on the west side.

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

Described as ‘white paper mill’ in 1834 with two overshot water wheels. The paper mill was almost ruined by a fire in 1914 (bodman).

Ordnance Survey, 2013, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV350786.

Modern mapping shows the mill to now extend much further north.

English Heritage, 2013, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV350785.

Stowford Paper Mills. Paper mills. Dated 1862. Coursed and dressed granite ground, first and second storeys. Red brick above with yellow brick dressings. Large rectangular building. Six storeys. Nine by 5 bays. First 3 storeys of 9 bay front have only 5 windows per storey. Round arched iron frame windows with keystones. Right and doorway on each floor with iron fire escape. String course at third floor level inscribed "Stowford Paper Mills AD 1862". Water tank over roof at left hand (west) end. Engine house, dated 1914, with tall brick chimney, at west end.

Watts, M., 2013, Stowford Mill, Ivybridge, Devon. Historic Building Appraisal (Report - Survey). SDV352698.

The first paper mill was built by William Dunsterville in 1787. It was known initially as Stowford Lodge Paper Mill. It is shown on a watercolour of about 1790. In 1834 it is described as a ‘white paper mill’, the machinery driven by two overshot waterwheels. A Fourdrinier continuous paper machine was installed on the east side of the main building in 1837. In 1849 the mill was sold to John Allen who undertook a major redevelopment of the site including the rebuilding of Stowford Lodge and a bridge across the Erme which is dated 1859. The adjacent corn mill was demolished and the paper mill expanded over the site. A new rag loft, built in brick on a granite base still forms the princioal building on the site. A string course at second floor level has the inscription, STOWFORD PAPER MILLS A.D. 1862. Allen also installed two new paper machines and new rag boilers, breakers and beaters, all the work apparently completed by 1867. The mill was subsequently run by his two sons until sold to a syndicate in 1910. The original Fourdrinier machine was removed to another paper mill in Thatcham, Berkshire. A fire in 1914 destroyed the upper floors of the rag store which were rebuilt with steel framing. Other works were also carried out at this time. The brick built engine house at the west end of the mill bears the date 1914. It housed a steam engine which replaced a beam engine that was apparently in existence by 1875. The steam engine was itself scrapped before 1955. The tall chimney was probably built to serve the beam engine as it is shown on photos of the 1914 fire. There was also a water turbine which presumably replaced a waterwheel in the internal pit within the main building. The mill was bought by Portals in 1924 and sole to Wiggins Teape & Co in 1930 who became part of a larger organisation, Arjo Wiggins in 1990. Since reaching its maximum production in 2000, output at the mill has declined. It is not now considered viable for the company to operate mills in both Devon and Scotland and, being too small to take on the current production in Aberdeen, the Stowford Mill is due to close before the end of 2013 and the site sold for redevelopment.
The principal granite and brick building appears to have been built on the footprint of the original paper mill, although it looks to occupy a larger plan. It is an impressive 6 storey building. Within the lower levels is a chamber which still appears to contain a water turbine. This was fed by a vertical cast iron pipe. Water was supplied from the leat and mill pond via a long leat, the supporting structure of which still survives. Within the main building are the remains of drive shafting. The two storey building adjoining the east end of the principal building is understood to have housed the Fourdrinier paper machine and to the west are stone and brick extensions that housed the steam engine and boilers and the tall brick chimney. The brick engine house projects southwards from the boiler house. Extending on the north side of the engine house are the shed housing the paper machines installed by Allen. At the north end of the machine rooms is a two storey brick block with slated roofs that contained stock and finishing rooms on the ground floor and salles, where the finished paper was sorted and counted, above. The salles are well lit with roof lights and there are elegant circular windows in the gable ends. On the west side of this range is the office, a modest but elegant double-fronted, two storey building. To the north of this main group of buildings is a higher yard and warehouse type buildings erected in the 1960s.
Despite the 1914 fire the core buildings at Stowford Mill retain many original features and details which reflect the organised development of the site by John Allen in the 19th century.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV170700Migrated Record:
SDV170701Migrated Record:
SDV170702Migrated Record:
SDV170703Migrated Record:
SDV170704Migrated Record:
SDV170705Migrated Record:
SDV170706Migrated Record:
SDV170707Migrated Record:
SDV170708Migrated Record:
SDV170709Migrated Record:
SDV170710Migrated Record:
SDV170711Migrated Record:
SDV170712Migrated Record:
SDV170713Migrated Record:
SDV22166Migrated Record: HARRIS.
SDV2310Migrated Record: Minchinton, W..
SDV305931Report - non-specific: Bodman, M.. 1998. Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound.
SDV326193Migrated Record: Department of Environment.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV34056Migrated Record: SHORTER, 1950.
SDV349431Cartographic: Devon County Council. 1838-1848. Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Map. Digital.
SDV350785National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2013. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #92922 ]
SDV352698Report - Survey: Watts, M.. 2013. Stowford Mill, Ivybridge, Devon. Historic Building Appraisal. Watts, M.. SPM232. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV2876Parent of: Engine Houses at Stowford Mill, Ivybridge (Building)
MDV126799Related to: Air raid trench shelter at Stowford Mill, Ivybridge (Monument)
MDV13089Related to: Leat to Stowford Mill, Ivybridge (Monument)
MDV133441Related to: Leat, Longtimber Wood (Monument)
MDV70316Related to: Mill Pond at Stowford Mill, Ivybridge (Monument)
MDV126800Related to: Spoil heaps northwest of Stowford Mill, Ivybridge (Monument)
MDV13088Related to: Stowford Corn Mill, Ivybridge (Building)
MDV13099Related to: Stowford Manor, Formerly Stowford Lodge (Building)
MDV102901Related to: Weir on River Erme at Stowford Cleave, Cornwood (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6309 - Historic Building Appraisal of Stowford Mill, Ivybridge

Date Last Edited:Sep 16 2022 3:30PM