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HER Number:MDV56664
Name:The Granary, Coronation Road, Totnes


A building constructed following the demolition of four fulling mills probably located within a single building and a malt mill. Originally a woollen mill, it subsequently became a pearl barley processing factory and was then purchased and used by the West of England Bacon Company in 1919.


Grid Reference:SX 805 604
Map Sheet:SX86SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishTotnes
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishTOTNES

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX86SW/293
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • COMMERCIAL OFFICE (Unknown date)
  • WOOLLEN MILL (XIX - 1823 AD to 1853 AD)
  • WAREHOUSE (XIX to XX - 1850 AD to 2000 AD)
  • CEREAL FACTORY (XIX to XX - 1853 AD to 1919 AD)

Full description

Department of Environment, 1990, Addition to Schedule (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV350818.

Building at Harris Bacon Factory Site, Town Mills, Totnes. Probably a canal warehouse on the site of an earlier fulling mill. Roughly 1850's with 20th century extensions. Limestone rubble with brick window dressings. Slate roof. Long rectangular range with putative engine house at northern end and early 20th century smoking kilns at southern end. Three storeys. Functioned as canal warehouse where goods transferred from sea to canal craft.

Bellchambers, J., 1992, Plans of the Granary (Unknown). SDV350817.

"The Granary". Former Harris Bacon Factory site, now the Safeway's complex. Plans prior to conversion.

Bellchambers, J., 1992, Totnes Town Mills/Safeway Supermarket Site (Correspondence). SDV350882.

The fine limestone granary has been listed and is to be retained. It incidentally may owe its design to the engineer John Rennie who was advising on the Dart Navigation at this time.

Westcott, K. A., 1994, Archaeological Survey of Harris Bacon Factory Buildings, Town Mills, Totnes, Section 2, 2.1 and 4.1 (Report - Survey). SDV169988.

An archaeological record was made by Exeter Museum Archaeological Field Unit in 1993 during conversion to offices and apartments.

In 1588 the borough mills were leased by Geoffrey Babb, a wealthy Totnes merchant, who said to have found them in a ruinous state of decay and pulled them down. Four new grist mills, probably houses in a single building, were constructed by Babb on a site formerly occupied by two grist mills, which may be identified as the site where now stands the disused 19th century corn mill, long known as Town Mills. On an adjacent site to Town Mills, in all probability that occupied by the ‘Granary’ building, Babb constructed four fulling mills (no doubt within a single mill-building) and one malt mill.

Totnes mills were leased to William Searle Bentall and Thornton Bentall, classified as gentleman and Thomas and Joseph Hakewill (Fullers) for a period of 21 years in 1823. The fulling mill was apparently soon rebuilt as a woollen mill, the building now known as ‘The Granary’. The trade in woollen goods was in decline in the 19th century and hence, so were the fortunes of the woollen mill. The mill was reported to have a single wheel of one horsepower. Bentall’s company became bankrupt in 1841 and in 1842 and the lease of the mills was released. By 1853, it had been converted into a factory for the production of pearl barley.

The Tithe map shows the mill as a large rectangular building separated into two equal sub-equal parts standing directly on the bank of the leat. A mill race issues directly form the east wall north of the dividing line. The 1863 Tithe map does not subdivide the building. A map prepared in 1885 still describes the building as a mill. It is shown standing back from the bank of the leat.

The Ordnance Survey map of 1888 depicts the building with a separate small north block. A wide branch from the main leat goes to the centre of the west wall. Further south is a small structure between the west wall and the bank of the leat. There is a second race emerging from under the roadway along the east side of the building which joins the main race.

The granary and corn mill were bought by the West of England Bacon Company in 1919.

The granary is a large three-storey building; 25.2 metres by 8.7 metres in plan, with a two storey block 5.7 metres by 8.7 metres in plan at the northern end. The main block has a slate roof. It is flanked on its east side by the mill leat which runs to Town Mills, a disused corn mill 37 metres to the south. Coronation Road runs along the eastern bank. It is built of local limestone rubble bonded with a white lime mortar. Full details are provided within the report.

The granary was erected as a large warehouse like building of three stories with an independent two-storey block to the north. The two leats which ran beneath the building are contemporary with the building. The most extensive modifications to the granary occurred after it was acquired by the West of England Bacon Factory.

Google, 2013, Google Streetview (Website). SDV350787.

The building is currently used as an estate agent's office.

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

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

Probably a canal warehouse. Circa 1850s with early and later 20th century extensions. Limestone rubble with red brick window dressings, slate roof with gabled end.

Plan: Long rectangular range with putative engine house at north end and circa early 20th century smoking kilns at south end.

Exterior 3 storeys. Almost symmetrical 7-bay west front facing leat, plus lower 2 storey 1 - bay former engine house to left. 2-light casements with horizontal glazing bars in cambered redbrick arch openings. On ground floor wide doorway at centre and narrow doorway to right both with segmental brick arches and blocked. At the north end the 2-storey engine house has 3-light casement on the ground floor and doorway to left. Low redbrick 20th century range attached to the north end and circa early 20th century red brick smoking kilns on the south end with ventilators on ridge of roof. Late 20th century additions at the rear.

Interior not inspected.

Note: Roughly on the site of an earlier fulling /woollen mill it was built as a canal warehouse for transferring goods from sea to canal craft, as well as for storage. The 2-storey section at the north end may have been a water powered engine house to drive a hoist.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV169988Report - Survey: Westcott, K. A.. 1994. Archaeological Survey of Harris Bacon Factory Buildings, Town Mills, Totnes. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. 94.00. A4 Stapled + Digital. Section 2, 2.1 and 4.1.
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: #95604 ]
SDV350787Website: Google. 2013. Google Streetview. http://maps.google.co.uk. Website.
SDV350817Unknown: Bellchambers, J.. 1992. Plans of the Granary. Unknown.
SDV350818List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1990. Addition to Schedule. Addition to Schedule. Unknown.
SDV350882Correspondence: Bellchambers, J.. 1992. Totnes Town Mills/Safeway Supermarket Site. Letter and Map. A4 Unbound.

Associated Monuments

MDV59638Related to: Harris Bacon Factory, Coronation Road, Totnes (Monument)
MDV59637Related to: Leats, Coronation Road, Totnes (Monument)
MDV18438Related to: Town Mills, Totnes (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Mar 12 2013 5:23PM