MDE10879 - Challacombe Mill and cottages (Monument)


Part of the stone fabric of a corn mill shown on historic mapping appears to be preserved in a cattle shed, adjacent to a stone lined rectangular wheel pit. The leat and the remains of an associated sluice gate survive.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

The 1st Edition Ordnance Survey mapping of 1889 bears the descriptor "Challacombe Mill" applied to the group of buildings at SS 6810 4037; to the east "Corn Mill" is applied. A building is depicted here with a leat, head race and tail race issuing from the building back into the River Bray. [1] The 2nd Edition map and the 1963 map show a mill leat leading from a stream at SS 6861 4035. [2,3] A visit in 1989 recorded traces of a leat and a probable small mill building which is now used for livestock. [4] A further visit stated there was nothing to view, although the wheel pit and leat had been identified in 1975. A local confirmed that the mill was working before 1840. [5] At SS 68164 40332 is a cattle shed which is composed of a mixture of stone and concrete block walling. The stone walling appears to represent part of the fabric of the former mill, although nothing diagnostic survives. However, on the northeastern side of the building is a stone lined rectangular pit adjoining its back wall. It is 6.2 metres in length, 2.3 metres wide and 1.4 metres deep. It is presumably the wheel pit of the former mill. [6] The Challacombe Tithe Map shows the mill building at c.SS 6816 4033 labelled 541. The accompanying Apportionment describes this as "House Millhouse & Court" as part of "Challacombe Mill tenement", owned by Hugh, Earl Fortescue, leased by Richard Huxtable. [7] Photographs from the 1920s show a cluster of buildings matching the group shown on the OS 1st and 2nd Edition maps. The mill and an adjoining two storey house to its west appear to be the buildings also shown on the Tithe Map. The mill straddling the leat / tailrace. In the photograph the buildings shown to the south of the mill on the OS 1st and 2nd Edition appear to be three cottages; a detached cottage and a pair of semi-detatched cottages, all have chimneys. The cottges therefore would appear to be built between 1839 and the late 19th century. [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]

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889, Devonshire 10(3).
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1896. County Series, First Edition 6 Inch Map. 1:10560. 1905.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1963. 6 Inch Map: 1963.
  • <4> Monograph: Thorpe, J.. 1989. North Devon Watermills. North Devon Archaeological Society Report. 5. 54.
  • <5> Monograph: University of the Third Age. 1995. Watermills in North Devon 1994. University of the Third Age. A5 Paperback. 29.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 13 October 1993.
  • <7> Map: 1839. Challacombe Tithe Map and Apportionment. Land parcel 541.
  • <8> Monograph: Tull, C.. 2006. Challacombe: The Story of an Exmoor Village. Plates 19 & 20.
  • <9> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 909993, Extant 10 November 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 6816 4032 (35m by 45m) Historic mapping
Map sheet SS64SE
Historic Parish CHALLACOMBE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS64SE/129
  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS64SE/170
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 21486
  • Exmoor National Park Authority HER number: MDE21215
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20931
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 SE50
  • National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 909993

Record last edited

Nov 10 2021 2:22PM


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