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HER Number:MDV62957
Name:Hydroelectric Power Station, Mary Tavy

Summary

The hydroelectric power station at Mary Tavy was opened in December 1932 using water diverted from the River Tavy at Hillbridge Weir. Largest hydro-electric installation in England. A plain design of 1932-7 in two stages for the power house. Originally operated privately to power local mining enterprises, it has a complete range of intact components in active use for electricity production (reservoirs, leats, screen and valve houses, pipelines and tail race). A site of clear national importance.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 509 784
Map Sheet:SX57NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishMary Tavy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishMARY TAVY

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57NW/81/1

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HYDROELECTRIC POWER STATION (Early 20th Century to World War II - 1932 AD to 1939 AD (Between))

Full description

Trueman, M., 1994 - 1998, Electric Power Generation, Step 1, Step 3 & Step 3 Report Update (Report - non-specific). SDV335661.

Mary Tavy Power Station origionally built by the West Devon Mining & Power Co. Noted as England's largest hydro-electric installation and remains operational. Water was taken from the river Hillbridge, along the course of a pre-existing leat, which was deepend and lengthened and widenend to Bennet's reservoir.

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

The hydroelectric power station at Mary Tavy was opened in December 1932 using water diverted from the River Tavy at Hillbridge Weir. The existing one and a quarter mile long leat was extended another three quarters of a mile from where a 1 metre diameter pipe took the water to the power station. To meet the increasing demand a second scheme was introduced in 1936 using water diverted from the upper reaches of the Tavy at Tavy Cleave along the 200 year old Reddaford Leat for four and a half miles. Water then entered a linear reservoir at Wheal Jewell before being taken by pipe to the power station which then became the largest hydroelectric power station in England. Output was first connected to the national grid in 1942.

Chitty, G., 2000, MPP Electricity Step 4 Report (Report - Assessment). SDV350356.

Largest hydro-electric installation in England. A plain design of 1932-7 in two stages for the power house. Originally operated privately to power local mining enterprises, it has a complete range of intact components in active use for electricity production (reservoirs, leats, screen and valve houses, pipelines and tail race). A site of clear national importance.

Dartmoor National Park Authority, 2011, Mary Tavy Conservation Area Character Appraisal, 26, figure 13 (Report - Assessment). SDV359468.

The Power Station – Unlisted
Although of little architectural merit this building is quite unique to a village location in the West Country. It is a surprisingly rare example of 20th century exploitation of reliable, clean and sustainable water power. The historic interest of the power station makes it a distinctive and special feature of Mary Tavy.

Ordnance Survey, 2016, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359352.

Power station is depicted on the modern mapping.

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.
SDV335661Report - non-specific: Trueman, M.. 1994 - 1998. Electric Power Generation, Step 1, Step 3 & Step 3 Report Update. English Heritage Monuments Protection Programme Steps 1 and 3 Report. A4 Spiral Bound.
SDV350356Report - Assessment: Chitty, G.. 2000. MPP Electricity Step 4 Report. Monument Protection Programme. Unknown.
SDV359352Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #97173 ]
SDV359468Report - Assessment: Dartmoor National Park Authority. 2011. Mary Tavy Conservation Area Character Appraisal. Dartmoor National Park Authority. Digital. 26, figure 13.

Associated Monuments

MDV129067Parent of: Wheal Jewell Reservoir, Mary Tavy (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Nov 2 2020 10:07AM