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HER Number:MDV65650
Name:Higher Town Mills Weir, Buckfastleigh


Weir on Holy Brook at head of leat to Buckfast Higher Mill.


Grid Reference:SX 728 677
Map Sheet:SX76NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishWest Buckfastleigh
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishBUCKFASTLEIGH

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX76NW/16/3

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • WEIR (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

Passmore, A., 06/10/2004, Higher Buckfast Mill Weir (Plan - sketch). SDV357814.

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

Weir marked on 1880s-1890s 25 inch Ordnance Survey map on Holy Brook to north of Hackmoor Head.

Manning, P. T. + Goodwin, N. + Collings, A. G., 2000, Archaeological Recording at Higher Mill Cottages, Buckfast Abbey (Report - Survey). SDV313846.

Passmore, A., 2004, Higher Buckfast Mill Weir, 5005_24-26 (Ground Photograph). SDV357815.

Exeter Archaeology, 2005, An Archaeological Survey of Weirs in the River Dart Catchment. Draft Report, No. 15 (Report - Survey). SDV356906.

Higher Buckfast Woollen Mill Weir. Exeter Archaeology No. 15, Environment Agency No. 10. Watercourse: Holy Brook. Historic function: Served woollen mill.
The site of Higher Buckfast Mill is within the estate of the former medieval abbey but no documentary evidence has been found to confirm that it or Lower Mill has monastic origins. The earliest reference to the mills is 1734.
The weir is at an angle to the stream with a leat on the right bank. At the time of the field visit in October 2004 it was under repair by the Environment Agency. The earliest fabric is limited to an upper vertical section of wall at the east end of the weir constructed of local stone with three dressed granite blocks, secured by metal tie bars, forming a capping. The tie rods do not extend to the west possibly indicating a historical central opening. To the rear of this wall is a sloping pebble bank, partially covered in concrete, retained by a metal plate. The east bank is retained by an L-shaped wall constructed of local stone incorporating a little granite. The upper part is built in soldier courses, and has been partially rebuilt. This wall continues for 5m down the leat to the sluice. The sluice consists of a metal screw-opening gate on a metal frame, of 20th-century date, and is set into the above-mentioned wall and a small stone pier on the right bank of the leat. The leat itself is unlined.
The current rebuilding by the Environment Agency includes a rebuilding of the western part of the upper section of the weir in stone and concrete, incorporating a salmon leap. At the time of the survey a D-shaped lower section lower section was being constructed in stone. The walling of this section incorporated a revetment of the left bank and incorporated two openings, possibly salmon leaps.
As a whole, if the current works are taken into account, the weir is in a good condition, although historic fabric now forms only a small percentage of the total weir structure. The sluice and leat are kept in a working condition.
No management issues or opportunities have been identified.

Ordnance Survey, 2012, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV348725.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV313846Report - Survey: Manning, P. T. + Goodwin, N. + Collings, A. G.. 2000. Archaeological Recording at Higher Mill Cottages, Buckfast Abbey. Exeter Archaeology Report. 00.84. A4 Bound + Digital.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #97889 ]
SDV356906Report - Survey: Exeter Archaeology. 2005. An Archaeological Survey of Weirs in the River Dart Catchment. Draft Report. Exeter Archaeology Report. Digital. No. 15.
SDV357814Plan - sketch: Passmore, A.. 06/10/2004. Higher Buckfast Mill Weir. Exeter Archaeology River Dart Catchment Weirs Survey. Plan + Digital.
SDV357815Ground Photograph: Passmore, A.. 2004. Higher Buckfast Mill Weir. Exeter Archaeology River Dart Catchment Weirs Survey. Slide + Digital. 5005_24-26.

Associated Monuments

MDV65649Related to: Buckfast Abbey Higher Mill Leat (Monument)
MDV7797Related to: Higher Mill, Buckfast (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6538 - Archaeological Survey of Weirs in the River Dart Catchment
  • EDV5135 - Recording at Higher Mill Cottages, Buckfast Abbey

Date Last Edited:Apr 22 2015 12:41PM