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HER Number:MDV918
Name:Bradiford Mill, Pilton, Barnstaple


Site of Bradiford Mill which was rebuilt after a fire in 1867 and then destroyed by another fire in 1930. The mill has had a varied history; a tucking mill is recorded here in the early 19th century. The site subsequently became a fellmongers factory and then became a wood turning mill, firstly making rocking horse and chairs, then spokes and felloes for coach wheels. Latterly it was used for the manufacture of brush heads. Some walls remains forming part of a garden wall.


Grid Reference:SS 549 342
Map Sheet:SS53SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBarnstaple
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishPILTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS53SW/2

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FULLING MILL (XIX - 1801 AD to 1900 AD)
  • SAW MILL (XIX to XX - 1801 AD to 2000 AD)
  • WATERMILL (XIX to XX - 1801 AD to 2000 AD (Between))

Full description

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

Saw Mill marked on 1880s-1890s 25 inch Ordnance Survey map, a broadly square buildings over the leat with a row of small outbuildings to the west, on the south side of the leat.

Bone, M., 1973, Barnstaple's Industrial Archaeology (Monograph). SDV78228.

North Devon Archaeological Society, 1989, North Devon Watermills, 36 (Monograph). SDV337776.

Possibly this building was burned down in 1930. The fire probably started in the japanning shed and this mill is remembered by one local as a brush factory. In 1839 it was described as a fulling mill, formerly a grist mill and later becoming a turning mill and brush factory. The waterwheel, machinery and buildings have gone. The leat is still (1974) extant and has an iron sluice gate made by Garnish and Lemon of Pilton, Barnstaple. It was a tucking mill which was subsequently used for making spokes for the wheels of coaches.

University of the Third Age, 1995, Watermills in North Devon 1994, 19-20 (Monograph). SDV74915.

Bradiford Mill is a site of some antiquity; there was a tucking mill here in the reign of George IV and later a fellmongers factory. The mill was first employed in the wood-turning trade by Mr. Herson who made rocking horses and chairs here. Manley and Hayle continued in this vein with the manufacture of spokes and felloes for the coaching trade, as well as introducing brush-head making. In 1869, the mill passed to Mountjoy and Hancock who installed modern machinery for brush-head making and general turning and built up a successful business. They replaced the old wooden water wheel with an iron one, complete with modern gearing to work the lathes and saws.
The building was burned down in 1930. Some walls remain forming part of the boundary wall around a garden. The leat, which powered three mills, is still flowing.

Bodman, M., 1998, Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 33 No. 16 (Report - non-specific). SDV305931.

Bodman, M., 2003, Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon, 236 (Report - Interim). SDV325576.

Mill situated below Bradiford Bridge built in the early 18th century. It was rebuilt after a fire in 1867 and a further fire in 1930 destroyed the building.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV305931Report - non-specific: Bodman, M.. 1998. Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 33 No. 16.
SDV325576Report - Interim: Bodman, M.. 2003. Watermills and Other Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 236.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV337776Monograph: North Devon Archaeological Society. 1989. North Devon Watermills. North Devon Watermills. A5 Paperback. 36.
SDV74915Monograph: University of the Third Age. 1995. Watermills in North Devon 1994. Watermills in North Devon 1994. A5 Paperback. 19-20.
SDV78228Monograph: Bone, M.. 1973. Barnstaple's Industrial Archaeology. Barnstaple's Industrial Archaeology. A5 Paperback.

Associated Monuments

MDV68213Related to: Mill Leat to Halls, Lions and Bradiford Mills (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Nov 8 2012 10:50AM