Scheduled Monument: Remains of leat serving former hydro-electric generating station, on the south bank of the East Lyn River, 210m east of Oxen Tor
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
16 October 2002
Date last amended
The monument includes the remains of a concrete leat which drew river water to power the Lynmouth Central hydro-electric generating station which was opened in 1890. The leat is located on the south bank of the East Lyn River and it runs parallel with the river downstream from its intake at the Ladycombe Lake entry to its termination at a clearing shed approximately 350m to the north. From this point onward the water was piped rather than carried to the generating station. The leat, which survives fully in some sections of its 350m length and partly in others, has a purpose-built sluice at its entry point about 20m west of where the waters of Ladycombe Lake enter the East Lyn River down a steep valley slope. The entry sluice is rock cut and located in a slight bend in the river where the combination of the pressure provided by the river flow abetted by the nearby rush of waters from Ladycombe Lake would have ensured a good head of water entering the leat. The sluice gate was blocked with stone and concrete following the abandonment of the system in 1952. The leat itself was rock cut on its inner face against the bank but is revetted with stone where this was felt to be necessary. The outer riverside wall is constructed of local stone and faced externally with concrete; this wall rises 0.5m above the ground surface and is 0.15m thick. The leat was cut 1.6m deep and 2.25m wide on average with both the bottom and the inner walls lined with concrete. This produced an open channel which had a series of side sluices at intervals which could release water back into the river in order to control the flow required at any one time. At the far western end of the leat is a clearing shed which housed a screening mechanism and which marks the point where the leat gave way to an overground pipe which conveyed the water for the remaining 280m or so to the generating station. Nothing of the pipe system survives and the clearing
shed has been the subject of much modernisation. The generating station continued in operation until 15th August 1952 when it was destroyed in a major flood and never rebuilt. The clearing shed at the western end of the monument is excluded from the scheduling, although the fabric of the leat where it passes beneath the clearing shed is included.