Historic Environment Record images

MSO9458 - Castle Mill, Dunster

ENPHER Number:MSO9458
Name:Castle Mill, Dunster
Type of Record:Building
Grid Reference:SS 991 433
Parish:DUNSTER, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record caveat document.

Summary

A late 17th Century watermill on a Domesday mill site on the edge of Dunster Castle grounds, restored in 1979 as a working mill. It was rebuilt 1779-82 and adjoins a late 18th century gateway to the Castle grounds.

Monument Types

  • CORN MILL (AD 17th Century to Modern - 1675 AD? to 2050 AD (Unclassified))
  • GATE (AD 18th Century to Modern - 1775 AD? to 2050 AD (Unclassified))
  • MACHINERY (AD 18th Century to Modern - 1779 AD? to 2050 AD (Unclassified))

Designated Status

  • Listed Building (II*) 1173447: CASTLE MILL AND ATTACHED GATEWAY AND GATE
  • Conservation Area: Dunster Conservation Area

Description

A restored water mill lies on the edge of the grounds of Dunster Castle, close to the River Avill, at SS 9910 4333. Domesday recorded two mills on the Mohun estate in Dunster in 1086. This mill, now called Castle Mill, was the lower of these two, and was known as Nethermylle in 1329. In 1427 Newmylle was built next door to Nethermylle; by 1620 they were combined as Lower Mill. [3]

In 1779-82 the mill was virtually rebuilt and new machinery installed. The mill was restored again for use in WWII, and continued to grind feed for the farm until 1962. In 1978 EH carried out an architectural survey of the building, and restoration to a working mill with two overshot wheels followed. [4]

An ornamental gateway adjoins the eastern wall of the mill building, at SS 9912 4331, forming the lower entrance to the castle grounds. It is built of local red sandstone with brick details. A large gothic arch with wrought iron gates forms the way through to the grounds. Above are 2 niches and a pierced opening, all echoing the shape of the main arch. The restoration of the mill in the late 18th century and this gateway both form part of the landscaping of the castle grounds by Henry Luttrell [5].

Leat from River Avill to two overshot wheels in tandem. The first working two pairs of stones, the second one pair. Wood trough with iron trap to first wheel. Both wheels are the same size and diameter, all wood construction, 12ft diameter and 4ft 3ins wide. 40 oak L buckets. [6]

Now restored and run as a working mill. [7]

Late 17th century structure, largely rebuilt 1779-1782. Render, slate roof, end gables, recessed centre, gabled projecting side wings slated verges. Two storeys plus attics. Central section comprises two gabled, slate-hung dormer windows, 3-light metal casements in wood frames, leaded lights. First floor has one 3-light metal casement window with leaded lights to left and stable-type plain boarded door to right with hoist. Similar window and door to ground floor. Side wings, one window per floor, quatrefoil attic window with leaded glazing, first floor has 2-light pointed arch window with intersecting tracery and single metal casements, left hand wing at ground floor 4-light mullioned window set in recessed three-centred arched opening, right-hand wing has plain boarded door in comparable opening. Twin wooden overshot water wheels at east end. Interior retains mill machinery in working order. Rubble wall with brick dressing juts from south-east angle of mill, pierced by pointed arch opening with wrought-iron gates, lancet opening above, moulded stone finial. [10, 13]

English Heritage Listed Building Number: 264700. First Listed on 22/05/1969. [11] (SS 99104333) Castle Mill (NAT) [12]

Dunster Castle Mill, on the site of a mill mentioned in Domesday, was restored to working order in 1979. The National Monument Record has a full photographic record of the mill with plans and elevations made by R Chidgey in 1970. [14, 15]

Additional bibliography. [16-19]

The mill is included within Dunster's Conservation Area. The 2002 character appraisal states "The original structure is thought to date from the late 17th century and was rebuilt between 1779-1782. Records indicate it replaced two earlier mills and worked as a corn mill until the early 20th century. It originally had an overshot and an undershot wheel working side by side and was re-opened during the Second World War and had a bakery, but later produced animal feed until finally closing in 1962. The mill was fully restored to working condition in 1980 for which it received a conservation award in 1982. The present buildings are two-storey plus attics with two slate-hung dormer windows. The windows, several of which are arched, are mainly three-light casements with leaded lights, and the entrance is a plain stable-type boarded door. There is another at first floor-level with hoist. The listing includes the attached arched gateway and wrought iron gates. The mill-leat is an attractive sounding feature following the lower part of Mill Lane above road level." [20]

The building was visited in September 2012 as part of the rapid condition survey of Exmoor's Listed Buildings 2012-13. The mill received a BAR score of 6 and the gateway and gate received a score of 5A. [22]


<1> English Heritage, 1984-, Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, Somerset 1985 Vol No. - Part 37 (Monograph). SMO5286.


<2> Department of the Environment, List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest , West Somerset (Aug 1983) Vol No. - 26 (Index). SMO5109.


<3> Eardley-Wilmot, H., 1981, Worksheet in Devon HER, Somerset Extensive Urban Survey: Dunster Draft Archaeological Assessment EH and SCC draft report 199 (Unpublished document). SMO5301.


<4> Eardley-Wilmot, H., 1981, Worksheet in Devon HER, Dodd D 1979 Dunster Castle (National Trust Guidebook) (Unpublished document). SMO5301.


<5> Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, Field Investigators Comment, Riley H 1998 RCHME Field Investigation (Unpublished document). SMO5111.


<6> Warren, D Somerset Industrial Archaeology Society, 29.11.77, Untitled Source (Unassigned). SSO1999.


<7> Dennison, E, Somerset County Council, 09.02.88, Untitled Source (Unassigned). SSO951.


<8> SMR file 34817 (Unassigned). SSO550.


<9> NMR (Unassigned). SSO320.


<10> 4/8/1983, Twenty-fifth List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. District of West Somerset (Somerset) (Index). SSO691.


<11> Webster CJ, Historic Environment Record, 2005, Staff Comments, Somerset County Council (Unassigned). SSO2013.


<12> Ordnance Survey, 1902-1907, County Series, Second Edition 25 Inch Map, 1904 (Map). SEM7190.


<13> Department of the Environment, List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest , West Somerset District, 4th August 1983 Page Nos. – 27 (Index). SMO5109.


<14> Eardley-Wilmot, H., 1981, Worksheet in Devon HER, Aston M, Leech R. 1977. Historic Towns in Somerset - CRAAGS Survey No 2, 47 (Unpublished document). SMO5301.


<15> Eardley-Wilmot, H., 1981, Worksheet in Devon HER, National Trust Properties Open 1985 112 (Unpublished document). SMO5301.


<16> Eardley-Wilmot, H., 1981, Worksheet in Devon HER, Burton A. 1983. National Trust Guide to Our Industrial Past, 212 (Unpublished document). SMO5301.


<17> Buchanan, C.A.+ Buchanan, R.A., 1980, The Batsford Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of Central Southern England, 131 (Monograph). SMO5325.


<18> Country Life, (C J Cornish) Vol No. - 3, 1898 Page Nos. - 227-28 (Serial). SMO5453.


<19> English Heritage, 1984-, Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, Somerset Vol No. - Part 37 (Monograph). SMO5286.


<20> Fisher, J., 2002, Dunster Conservation Area Character Appraisal, p20 (Unpublished document). SEM7910.


<21> Binding, H., Discovering Dunster, P59-62 (Monograph). SEM7516.


<22> Lawrence, G., 2014, Exmoor National Park: Rapid condition survey of listed buildings 2012-13 (Report). SEM8060.

Related records

MEM22171Related to: Medieval watermill of Lower Mill, Dunster (Monument)

Other References

  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (5A): 26/4/68/2
  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (5A): 26/4/68/3
  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (6): 26/4/68/1
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO224
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO258
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12018
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12105
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12105
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO9427
  • Listed Building List Entry UID: 264700
  • Listed Building List Entry UID: 264700
  • Local List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 SE105
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 SE32
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • National Trust HER Record
  • NBR Index Number: 83989
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 36933
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 543249
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 34817
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 34968
Date Last Edited:Apr 29 2014 1:55PM

Feedback?

Your feedback is welcome. If you can provide any new information about this record, please email us.

Powered by HBSMR-web and the HBSMR Gateway from exeGesIS SDM Ltd

© 2016 Exmoor National Park Authority