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HER Number:MDV62956
Name:Hydroelectric Power Station at Morwellham


Early 20th century hydro-electric power station to the east of Morwellham Quay. Uses stored river water via the canal system.


Grid Reference:SX 447 698
Map Sheet:SX46NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishGulworthy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTAVISTOCK

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX46NW/583

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • POWER STATION (XX - 1932 AD to 1932 AD (Between))

Full description

Trueman, M., 1994 - 1998, Electric Power Generation (Report - non-specific). SDV335661.

Morwellham Power Station built in 1934 by the West Devon Mining & Power Co. The scheme took water from the river Tavy via the Tavistock canal, and discharged into the river Tamar. It remains operational. Historically important site in terms of the twentieth-century development of England's hydro-electric resource and as a working example. Such schemes were, and are, rare in England, although it is from an era that post-dates Britains technologically innovative lead.

Harris, W. B., 1995, Hydro-Electricity in Devon: Past, Present and Future, 259-286 (Article in Serial). SDV125385.

The hydro-electric power station at Morwellham was built in 1932 using water brought along the old canal from the River Tavy at Abbey Weir to a million gallon storage reservoir 250 feet above Morwellham Quay. The water is taken down the cliff through a 3 feet diameter pipeline into two turbines. In December 1979 the River Tamar reached an exceptional flood level inundating the station floor to a depth of 2 feet.

Chitty, G., 2000, Electric Power Generation, Step 4 Report, Monument Protection Programme, Site 3 (Report - non-specific). SDV335660.

A working hydro-electric station of 1930s, utilising stored river water and the canal system, with a well preserved layout. Originally operated privately to power local copper mining. Historically important as a representative of inter-war hydro schemes, which were never numerous, and this is a relatively unaltered example. One of four extant stations of the West Deven Electric Supply Company.

Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.

Waterhouse, R., 2017, The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology, 296-300, figs 9.5-9.13 (Monograph). SDV361789.

Waterhouse records the history of the power station and its construction. See report for full details.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV125385Article in Serial: Harris, W. B.. 1995. Hydro-Electricity in Devon: Past, Present and Future. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 127. A5 Paperback. 259-286.
SDV335660Report - non-specific: Chitty, G.. 2000. Electric Power Generation, Step 4 Report, Monument Protection Programme. English Heritage. A4 Spiral Bound. Site 3.
SDV335661Report - non-specific: Trueman, M.. 1994 - 1998. Electric Power Generation. English Heritage Monuments Protection Programme Steps 1 and 3 Report. A4 Spiral Bound.
SDV344030Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #97172 ]
SDV361789Monograph: Waterhouse, R.. 2017. The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology. The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology. Paperback Volume. 296-300, figs 9.5-9.13.

Associated Monuments

MDV121796Related to: Leat to Reservoir for Morwellham Hydro-Electric Power Station (Monument)
MDV121804Related to: Reservoir for Morwellham Hydro-Electric Power Station (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Apr 5 2019 3:22PM