MDE21268 - Twitchen Mill (Building)


The mill house and corn mill are recorded on historic mapping. They may have replaced a previous structure in the later 19th Century.

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Type and Period (6)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Twitchen Mill. The waterwheel does not survive, but its estimated diameter is 18 feet by 4 feet 6 inches wide. There are two pairs of stones. The machinery was sold as scrap during the Second World War. Some small tools and equipment survive and many old stones are reused in the walls, floors and steps. Water came from a large pond a quarter of a mile above the mill and from a smaller pond just above the buildings. There was a second leat, now blocked up. The owner said that these two ponds could hold all the water coming down the valley in dry weather and stop the lower mills working until water was released. The mill house exists and adjoins the granary; the latter is used as a store. It is believed that this mill replaces one pulled down about 1875, and was last used in 1938. It was noted in the district for its good quality flour. The earlier mill was said to be about 500 years old. Visited 1974. [1] Only the main shaft is left in the wall of the house. Three millstones are nearby. The original leat ran alongside the shaft and was only found by the present owners after much excavation. Nearby are the remains of a forge and a cobbler's shop, where a pile of 100 boots were found. The leat is in good condition but has been diverted away from the house and no longer serves the mill. [2] Twitchen Mill, a two storey stone structure which has been converted into living accommodation. The lower storey still contains substantial beams and timbers. To the east of the mill building is a wheelpit measuring 5.4 metres by 1.3 metres. Water was supplied via a leat and supply pond. [3,4] 'Corn Mill' marked on 1st Edition 25 inch Ordnance Survey map and also on 1905 6 inch map. [5,6] 'Mill' shown on 1962 6 inch map. [7] Additional reference. [8] Documentary reference to Twitchen Mill in 1822. Leat still live but now a bankside feature. Building now converted. Remains of wheelshaft in situ. [9] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [10] The main building in the complex is shown on the Tithe Map for Twitchen in a similar location to the present house (SS 7882 3011) but is not shown as sibdivided, and is possibly on a more direct east to west alignment, suggesting the information provided by [1] that the building was demolished and rebuilt may be correct. It is possible, however, that if this occurred, fabric from the original building was reused in the new structure. A small square building to the southwest is also visible at SS 7880 3010 and may be the building shown on later mapping editions and still extant on the 2021 MasterMap data [11]. The two buildings are within land parcel 157 on the Tithe Map and described as "Twitchen Mills: House, Mills etc." in the Apportionment. There is also a small square feature coloured blue at the end of a water course leading from the west shown at SS 7872 3012; this is labelled 155 and the Apportionment describes it as "Twitchen Mills: Pond in the Ham", again corroborating the information provided by [1]. The continuance of this leat is not shown on the Tithe Map. [12,13]

Sources/Archives (13)

  • <1> Monograph: Thorpe, J.. 1989. North Devon Watermills. North Devon Archaeological Society Report. 5. 51.
  • <2> Monograph: University of the Third Age. 1995. Watermills in North Devon 1994. University of the Third Age. A5 Paperback. 105.
  • <3> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. Owner, to R Wilson-North, 4 January 1995.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 4 January 1995.
  • <5>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. [Mapped feature: #47579 ]
  • <6> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1892-1906. County Series, 2nd Edition 6 Inch Map. 1:10560. 1905, 15SE.
  • <7> Cartographic materials: Ordnance Survey. 1962. SS73SE. Ordnance Survey 6 inch Map.
  • <8> Report: Bodman, M.. 1998. Water-Powered Sites in Devon. A4 Spiral Bound. 35, Number 105.
  • <9> Report: Bodman, M.. 2003. Watermills and other water-powered sites in Devon. 158. Draft. 266.
  • <10> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1097035, Extant 5 October 2021.
  • <11> Map: Ordnance Survey. 2021. MasterMap data. 1:2,500.
  • <12> Map: 1841. Twitchen Tithe Map and Apportionment. Land parcels 155, 157.
  • <13> Verbal communication: Various. 1993-. Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Team staff comments. Catherine Dove, 5 October 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 7880 3005 (182m by 161m) With reference to Tithe Map and MasterMap data
Map sheet SS73SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (0)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 33943
  • Devon SMR: SS73SE/551
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE14807
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 SE24
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1097035

Record last edited

Oct 5 2021 3:25PM


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