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HER Number:MDV74765
Name:Waterwheel at Oburnford Farm, Halberton


19th century underground waterwheel which once powered a number of machines including a threshing machine.


Grid Reference:SS 988 093
Map Sheet:SS90NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishHalberton
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishHALBERTON

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Traditional Farm Buildings, including Listed Buildings (Grade II) marked on nineteenth century mapping at Oburnford Farm

Other References/Statuses

  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 95358
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • WATER WHEEL (XIX - 1801 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Department of Environment, 1986, Halberton (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV341392.

Farmbuilding complex 75 metres west of Oburneford Farmhouse. A purpose built block comprising barn, linhays, milling and threshing machine room, sheltered yard and underground water-wheel. The block which is roughly L-shaped lies on sloping ground with easy vehicular access to the rear (which contains the machine room powered by a water-wheel still surviving underground and fed by a leet). The milling gear is largely intact; 1 drive-shaft powers a root masher which is placed in the tallet above the adjoining linhay, which encloses a separate yard. Machines for threshing and reed combing were also housed in this complex (see listing description for full details of complex). Other details: LBS No. 95358.

Laithwaite, M., 1989, Devon Farmsteads. A Preliminary Survey, 16 (Report - Survey). SDV339847.

Bodman, M., 1998, Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 7 (Report - non-specific). SDV305931.

Bodman, M., 2003, Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 56 (Report - Interim). SDV325576.

Overshot waterwheel, 16 feet diameter by 3 feet wide, situated some 10 feet underground below cattle standings. According to the farmer, the waterwheel is French and dates to 1813 but it is more likely that the wheel dates from the 1860s. The wheel drove, via a system of gears, shafts and belt drives, a number of machines includng a pair of millstones and a threshing machine. The wheel was in use until at least 1977. The leat has now been largely filled in.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV305931Report - non-specific: Bodman, M.. 1998. Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 7.
SDV325576Report - Interim: Bodman, M.. 2003. Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 56.
SDV339847Report - Survey: Laithwaite, M.. 1989. Devon Farmsteads. A Preliminary Survey. A4 Stapled + Digital. 16.
SDV341392List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1986. Halberton. Historic Houses Register. Website.

Associated Monuments

MDV74762Part of: Farmbuilding complex at Oburnford Farm, Halberton (Building)
MDV19285Part of: Oburnford Farm, Halberton (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4341 - Survey of Devon Farmsteads

Date Last Edited:Aug 10 2017 12:47PM