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HER Number:MDV7839
Name:West Woollen Mill, Buckfastleigh


West Mill was originally a corn mill, although it also functioned as a woollen mill during the 19th century, being shown as such on the first edition OS map of 1890. It was converted to electricity generation in around 1904. It appears to have finished life as two cottages and was demolished to make way for the A38.


Grid Reference:SX 736 656
Map Sheet:SX76NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBuckfastleigh
Ecclesiastical ParishBUCKFASTLEIGH

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX76NW45
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 1305158
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX76NW/40

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MILL (Constructed, XIX to Late 20th Century - 1801 AD (Between) to 1979 AD (Between))

Full description

1839, Buckfastleigh Parish (Cartographic). SDV296665.

Shown at this NGR on the Tithe Map as No.1002 House, Yard and Garden, and No.1003 Mill.

Unknown, 1840, 924 b/146/3 (Record Office Collection). SDV296666.

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

Marked as West Woollen Mill.

Ordnance Survey, 1890, Untitled Source (Cartographic). SDV118376.

The OS map of 1890 refers to this as a Woollen Mill.

Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

Marked as West Mill (Corn).

Harris, H., 1968, Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor, 189 (Monograph). SDV149229.

The West Mill, on the south side of the junction of the road from the town of Buckfastleigh and the A30, was used to grind corn until about 1900. The wheel was originally on the higher side; powered by water from the Dean Burn, the leat and the launder having been near the hedge beside the road. Around 1904 the mill was converted for the generating of electricity for the Buckfastleigh supply. The new demands put an increased strain on the old wooden wheel and, despite iron wedges being driven into it to prolong its life, it was removed in about 1907 and a turbine fitted instead.

Devon County Council, 1974, Survey of Watermills in Devon: Gazetteer (Report - Survey). SDV83967.


Coleman, S., 1982, Untitled Source, 11-12 (Monograph). SDV296669.

Rented as a woollen factory by the Hamlyn family in 1842. One of three woollen mills in the town in the 19th century.

Griffiths, D. M., 1983, Untitled Source (Worksheet). SDV296668.

Appears to have finished life as two cottages and been demolished by A38 construction.

Bodman, M., 1998, Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 9.54 (Report - non-specific). SDV305931.

Bodman, M., 2003, Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 87 (Report - Interim). SDV325576.

Advert in the Exeter Flying Post, 31/05/1849, for "all those substantial built FLOUR MILLS".

Historic England, 2021-2022, NRHE to HER website, Accessed 29/03/2022 (Website). SDV364039.

South West Textile Mills project number: 356.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV118376Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1890. 6 inch. Map (Paper).
SDV149229Monograph: Harris, H.. 1968. Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor. Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor. A5 Hardback. 189.
SDV296665Cartographic: 1839. Buckfastleigh Parish. Tithe Map.
SDV296666Record Office Collection: Unknown. 1840. 924 b/146/3. 924 b/146/3.
SDV296668Worksheet: Griffiths, D. M.. 1983.
SDV296669Monograph: Coleman, S.. 1982. Buckfastleigh: A town in the making. 11-12.
SDV305931Report - non-specific: Bodman, M.. 1998. Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 9.54.
SDV325576Report - Interim: Bodman, M.. 2003. Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 87.
SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV364039Website: Historic England. 2021-2022. NRHE to HER website. https://nrhe-to-her.esdm.co.uk/NRHE. Website. Accessed 29/03/2022.
SDV83967Report - Survey: Devon County Council. 1974. Survey of Watermills in Devon: Gazetteer. Devon County Council Report. Unknown. A4 Bound.

Associated Monuments

MDV21576Related to: HOUSE in the Parish of Buckfastleigh (Monument)
MDV108060Related to: Weir on Dean Burn at Buckfastleigh (Monument)
MDV108054Related to: Weir on the Dean Burn to north of Potter's Wood, Buckfastleigh (Monument)
MDV21523Related to: West Mill Leat, Buckfastleigh (Monument)
MDV14438Related to: westmill cottages and westmill house, buckfastleigh (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8699 - RCHME South West Textile Mills Project (Ref: RCH01/063)

Date Last Edited:Mar 29 2022 11:32AM