MDE21215 - Challacombe Mill Leat (Monument)


The leat is shown on historic mapping.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A mill leat is shown on the Tithe Map for Challacombe Parish, taken from the River Bray at SS 6859 4035 and returning to the river at SS 6812 4028 (Mill Bridge) . [1] The leat is depicted on the 1st and 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey maps and the 6 inch 1963 map and labelled "Mill leat". A sluice had been added at c. SS 6820 4032 to divert water down a separate channel if required by the time the 1st Edition map had been surveyed. [2-4] The full length of the leat no longer appears to be depicted on modern MasterMap data, with only part of the feature now depicted as containing water, beginning at SS 6831 4031 and sourced from a stream to the north. [5] The leat arrangment for the mill survives largely intact. The head leat (440 metres in length) can be traced from its origin at SS 6859 4035. Some 11.5 metres from the bank of the River Bray are the remains of sluice gates presumably to shut off the leat. They consist of a pair of stone piers projecting from either side of the leat. They measure 1.7 metres wide, 1.2 metres deep and are 0.85 metres high. Each has a slot to accommodate the former sluice gate.The leat is now dry for its first 300 metres although its course can be clearly traced as an earthwork cutting (up to 1.2 metres high) along the hillside with a corresponding embankment (0.8 metres high) on its lower side. The final 140 metres of the leat still carries water and is fed from a natural spring. Remains of a bypass channel are still visible, and carry water, to the east of the mill, and traces of walling and a stone lined aperture at its upper end indicate the position of sluice gates.The final few metres of the leat are now dry. Where it meets the former back wall of the mill building, a pair of edge set stones are visible on either side. They are 0.9 metres and 0.5 metres long, 0.45 metres high and 0.1 metres thick. They may be associated with either a sluice arrangment or with laundering. The end of the leat is some 5 metres to the east of the probable wheel pit. How water was transferred from it to the wheel is unclear.The tail leat still survives over most of its length, although its channel seems to have been recut in recent times. However, near the former mill site it has been completely lost under a track and yard. [6] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [7]

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Map: 1839. Challacombe Tithe Map and Apportionment.
  • <2>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. [Mapped feature: #43465 ]
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-1907. County Series, 2nd Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <4> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1963. 6 Inch Map: 1963.
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 13 October 1993.
  • <7> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 909993, Extant 10 November 2021.

External Links (0)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 32591
  • Devon SMR: SS64SE/169
  • Local List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 SE50
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 909993



Grid reference Centred SS 6836 4031 (478m by 90m) Historic mapping
Map sheet SS64SE
Historic Parish CHALLACOMBE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Nov 10 2021 2:24PM


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