MDE11716 - East Weir, Lynmouth Eastern Beach (Monument)


A tidal fish weir, reportedly still in use in 1993, is visible as a structure revetted earthwork on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards and is annotated on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

"River Lyn fixed engine" dating back to c.1600 comprising two stone walls in a V shape topped with upright posts through which brushwood was woven to create a trap for salmon and sea trout on the falling tide. The fish weir was in operation in 1995 and was owned in 2004 by the Environment Agency. [1] Acutely angled length of stone walling on eastern beach. Marked by the Ordnance Survey as 'East Weir (salmon pool)'. Probably a tidal fish weir. It was visible on an aerial photograph taken in 1978. [2] SS 7238 4994. East Weir, a tidal fish trap or weir, annotated "Salmon Pool" on the 1904 map [3], lies between high and low water marks on the boulder strewn Eastern Beach at Lynmouth. It is formed by a V shaped fence of upright timber poles 1.7 metres high, interwoven with branches. This hurdling is consolidated by a wall at its base constructed of stones. The V points northwest out to sea; its west side is 60 metres long and its north side is 45 metres long. At the point of the V is a concrete and stone sluice with a wooden gate. The whole is in a somewhat dilapidated condition and appears to be abandoned but, according to local sources [4] it is repaired and used annually. [3-5] This coastal fish weir of possible medieval or post-medieval origin can be seen on aerial photographs as a timber revetted earthwork on the foreshore at Lynmouth bay, centred on circa SS 7238 4993 and has been transcribed as part of the Exmoor National Park National Mapping Programme Survey. [4] The weir, or trap, can be seen as an inverted V shape, the point of the V facing northwest, out to sea. As the tide ebbed, the shape of the structure acted as a funnel, trapping fish within a basket or net at the apex of the structure. The weir is clearly visible on aerial photographs of 1946 onwards as the timber structure mentioned above, set as revetment into what appears to be an earthwork base, but may be a wall as described. The structure when in use is probably repaired annually, but the original structure may date to the medieval period or earlier; similar structures elsewhere in Europe have been demonstrated to have been in use since the Mesolithic and the earliest examples in the UK have been found on the Isle of Wight and dated to the later Bronze age. Similar timber structural elements are also visible on West Weir and the numerous weirs recently recorded in Porlock Bay. [4-7] The weir was visible on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey mapping, as was an associated mooring post located at the point of the V-shape. Both of these were still present on the 2nd Edition map. The structure is still visible on the 2014 MasterMap, where it is recorded as a Salmon Catch; the mooring post is also present and a sluice is recorded. [3,10,11] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [12] The remains of three weirs associated with the fishing industry survive just outside of the Conservation Area. [13]

Sources/Archives (13)

  • <1> Archive: Devon County Council. Various. Devon SMR / HER records / parish files - Exmoor records. Parish file, D Holland (Environment Agency), 6 February 2004.
  • <2> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. SS7249a.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey. County Series; 2nd Edition (1st Revision) 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1904, Devon 3(9).
  • <4> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. S Young, 19 Park Gardens, Lynton, North Devon (Personal Communication).
  • <5> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 29 October 1993.
  • <6> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. 06G/UK/1655 F20 3151-2 (11 July 1946).
  • <7> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/72065 026-027 (15 April 1972).
  • <8> Report: Strachan, D.. 1997. Dating of some Inter-Tidal Fish-Weirs in the Blackwater Estuary.
  • <9>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 NW. MD002173. [Mapped feature: #38274 ]
  • <10> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1854-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <11> Map: Ordnance Survey. 2014. MasterMap.
  • <12> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 926193, Extant 15 December 2021.
  • <13> Report: Pratt, N. and Thurlow, T.. 2018. Lynmouth Conservation Area: appraisal document. Exmoor National Park Authority. p 7, 11.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 18005
  • Devon SMR: SS74NW/63
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO349
  • Local List Status (Proposed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 NW58
  • National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 926193
  • Shoreline Management Plan 2 (0-20)



Grid reference Centred SS 7240 4991 (54m by 58m)
Map sheet SS74NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Related Articles (1)

Record last edited

Sep 28 2022 12:48PM


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