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HER Number:MDV8020
Name:Ponsworthy Mill, Widecombe


House, formerly a mill and mill house. Probably early 19th century. Granite rubble, painted at the front with a slated roof. Mill was used for grinding corn in the late 1970s, one wheel remained and the owner was intending to restore the mill to working order.


Grid Reference:SX 700 738
Map Sheet:SX77SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishWidecombe in the Moor
Ecclesiastical ParishWIDECOMBE IN THE MOOR

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 445346
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX77SW/47
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CORN MILL (XVIII to XIX - 1800 AD to 1840 AD (Between))

Full description

Devon County Council, 1838-1848, Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848 (Cartographic). SDV349431.

Mill and yard, field no 1712, a disused mill depicted on the Tithe Map.

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

'Corn Mill' marked on the early 20th century historic map.

Harris, H., 1968, Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor, 226-7 (Monograph). SDV149229.

On the West Webburn, the old Ponsworthy Mill is disused and falling into ruins. A 19th century sketch by Fred Foot in the Torquay Natural History Museum shows the mill with two water wheels in line, one after the other.

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

Visited in 1973 (estimate). 18th century gristmill. Building of stone with slate roof is now disused. Overshot wheel with open paddles. Diameter 11 feet. Leat is still present. Sluice gates exist. Axle tree. Pit wheel. Wallower. Main shaft. Spare wheel. Stone nut and mill stones (2) are all part of drive and milling mechanisms present.

Beeson, M. M. R. + Masterman, M. C. H., 1979, An Archaeological Survey of Enclosed Land in Widecombe-In-The-Moor Parish, Vol III, 485 (Report - Survey). SDV337078.

Ponsworthy Mill is now a holiday cottage. The house itself is probably late 16th century or early 17th century. Over the main fireplace in the living room there is a massive stone lintel. The mill was used for grinding corn. It had twin wheels, the metal one of which is still in existence, although the woodwork has rotted. The pit is cleared. Wooden gearing. The one remaining wheel according to a wheelwright expert probably dates from the 1760s. The holes where the launder used to carry the water to the wheel can still be seen. The present owner wants to restore the mill to working order.

Ordnance Survey, 2013, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV350786.

English Heritage, 2013, National Heritage List for England, 1242425 (National Heritage List for England). SDV350785.

WIDECOMBE-IN- PONSWORTHY SX 77 SW THE-MOOR 6/241 Ponsworthy Mill, including the 10.3.77 garden wall and gateposts fronting the road GV II
House, formerly a mill and mill house. Probably early C19. Granite rubble, painted at the front. Slated roof. Small rendered chimneystack on left gable. L-shaped plan. House-part, at right-angles to road, has 2-room plan with central passage leading to staircase at the back; mill building at right-angles to it, at the end farthest from the road. 2 storeys. House has symmetrical 3-window front. Windows have granite lintels; low wide windows on ground storey, tall narrow ones above, all having C19 casements with glazing-bars. Old plank door with inserted window in centre. Inward face of mill building has an old plank door to right of ground storey and a C19 casement window with glazing-bars to left. Against gable-wall of mill a ruined, single-storey lean-to. At rear is an iron mill-wheel moulded with the maker's name, WILLCOCKS & SON, BUCKFASTLEIGH; wooden spokes and paddles have mostly rotted away. Fronting the road is a good garden wall of large-scale granite rubble and 2 plain granite gateposts. Interior of house and mill not inspected but 1977 provisional list said that "internally it retains much of the original machinery with wooden gearing and belt drives".
Listing NGR: SX7008273874

Sources / Further Reading

SDV149229Monograph: Harris, H.. 1968. Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor. Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor. A5 Hardback. 226-7.
SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV337078Report - Survey: Beeson, M. M. R. + Masterman, M. C. H.. 1979. An Archaeological Survey of Enclosed Land in Widecombe-In-The-Moor Parish. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. Vols I - V. A4 Comb Bound. Vol III, 485.
SDV349431Cartographic: Devon County Council. 1838-1848. Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Map. Digital.
SDV350785National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2013. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. 1242425.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #107001 ]
SDV83967Report - Survey: Devon County Council. 1974. Survey of Watermills in Devon: Gazetteer. Devon County Council Report. Unknown. A4 Bound.

Associated Monuments

MDV30097Related to: Honeysuckle Cottage, Ponsworthy (Building)
MDV7984Related to: Ponsworthy Bridge (Monument)
MDV93358Related to: Ponsworthy Mill Leat, Widecombe (Monument)
MDV30086Related to: Rose Cottage, Ponsworthy (Building)
MDV29943Related to: The Bakehouse, Ponsworthy (Building)
MDV51765Related to: Weir on River Webburn to north of Ponsworthy (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Dec 3 2013 2:22PM