MDE1069 - Parracombe Mill (Building)


A mill with medieval origins. The existing two storey mill has now been converted into a dwelling, but the wheel was retained to generate electricity, fed by a well defined leat.

Please read the .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

SS 66804483. Watermill. A small two storey grist mill, thought to be of 16th Century origin, on the Barnstaple to Lynton road some four miles southwest of Lynton. It has been converted into a house and none of the machinery remains. [1] The overshot water wheel is made of cast iron, including the arms, with buckets of elm wood. It is placed on the outside of the building and is 14 feet in diameter. The mill house and granary are constructed of stone with slate roof and are all in good condition. No other machinery survives. This watermill is believed to date from 1650 and was last in operation in October 1942. It does not operate as a grist mill now, but is used to generate electric power for private use. The wheel was reconditioned in 1967. [2] Miller's house including attached outbuilding and mill. Probably late 17th century with 19th and 20th century alterations. Painted stone rubble, partially slate-hung at right gable end. Bitumized slate roof with gable ends. Stone rubble stack at left end with tapered cap and drip. The house, which is slightly cranked, has room to each side of entrance hall containing staircase, with lofted outbuilding attached at left end.. Two storey outshut to rear right end of house. Mill building extending at right angles from rear left end has outshot mill wheel still in working order at its gable end. [3] No machinery remains. Restored overshot wheel now a garden feature operated by a small stream. Leat is a narrow waterway meandering through the garden. Owners' historical notes show the mill was used as a fulling mill in 1543. In 1856 it was a farm mill. Restored and reopened 1967. D. Warren mentioned the wheel working a lathe to produce spinning wheels in 1975. It was 14 feet 9 inches in diameter, 3 feet 3 inches wide with 9 inch side plates and 42 oak buckets. [4] Corn mill marked on the Ordnance Survey map. [5] The mill is supplied by a leat from the southeast which still carries water. It flows from SS 6696 4475 some 180 metres to the southeast of the mill, and comprises a well defined earthwork, the channel being dammed up against the slope by some 0.8 metres. [6] Parracombe Mill, a former corn mill, and originally dates from the late 17th Century with 19th and 20th century alterations. Built of whitened stone rubble, with a partially slate hung gable there is a stone rubble stack with a tapered cap and drip stone. The outshot mill wheel, fed by a small stream, with the machinery formerly in an attached out building extending from the rear left end of the house, is still in working order. [8] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [9] The mill leat, as described by [6], is visible on the 2021 MasterMap data and has been added to the GIS data for the Monument record. [10-11]

Sources/Archives (11)

  • <1> Monograph: Minchinton, W.. 1976. Industrial Archaeology in Devon. Dartington Amenity Research Trust. 3rd Edition. Number 1. P. 2?.
  • <2> Article in serial: Thorpe, J.. 1989. North Devon Windmills. North Devon Archaeological Society Newsletter. P. 48.
  • <3> Index: Department of the Environment. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest . HHR: Parracombe (9 April 1987) 78.
  • <4> Monograph: University of the Third Age. 1995. Watermills in North Devon 1994. University of the Third Age. A5 Paperback.
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1903/38. 6 Inch: 1903-38. 1:10560.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 1 October 1993.
  • <7> Report: Lawrence, G.. 2014. Exmoor National Park: Rapid condition survey of listed buildings 2012-13.
  • <8> Report: Fisher, J.. 2004. Parracombe: Conservation Area Character Appraisal. 14.
  • <9> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 34748, Extant 10 November 2021.
  • <10>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 2021. MasterMap data. 1:2,500. [Mapped features: #41217 Mill building, ; #47705 Leat, ]
  • <11> Verbal communication: Various. 1993-. Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Team staff comments. Catherine Dove, 10 November 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 6687 4479 (173m by 98m) (2 map features)
Map sheet SS64SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (6): 1544/6/135/1
  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (6): 1544/6/135/2
  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (6): 1544/6/135/3
  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS64SE41
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 2104
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20159
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20160
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 SE27
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 34748

Record last edited

Jan 27 2022 10:21AM


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