MDE21782 - Post-medieval leat serving the hydroelectric generating station on the East Lyn River (Monument)


Remains of a leat serving the former hydroelectric generating station, on the south bank of the East Lyn River. It dates from 1890.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

Remains of leat serving former hydro-electric generating station, on the south bank of the East Lyn River. Survives fully in some sections of its 350 metre length and partly in others. It has a purpose built sluice at its entry point about 20 metres west of where the waters of Ladycombe Lake enter the East Lyn River down a steep valley slope. The entry sluice is rock cut and located in a slight bend in the river where the combination of the pressure provided by the river flow abetted by the nearby rush of waters from Ladycombe Lake would have ensured a good head of water entering the leat. The sluice gate was blocked with stone and concrete following the abandonment of the system in 1952. The leat itself was rock and earth cut on its inner face against the bank but is revetted with stone where this was felt to be necessary. The outer riverside wall is constructed of local stone and faced externally with concrete; this wall rises 0.5 metres above the ground surface and is 0.15 metres thick. The leat was cut 1.6 metres deep and 2.25 metres wide on average with both the bottom and the inner walls lined with concrete. This produced an open channel which had a series of side sluices at intervals which could release water back into the river in order to control the flow required at any one time. At the far west end of the leat is a clearing shed which housed a screening mechanism and which marks the point where the leat gave way to an overground pipe, which conveyed the water for the remaining 280 metres or so to the generating station. Nothing of the pipe system survives and the clearing shed has been the subject of much modernisation. The generating station continued in operation until the 15th of August 1952, when it was destroyed in a major flood and never rebuilt. [1,2] SS 7313 4898 The remains of a concrete leat, which served the former Lynmouth Central hydroelectric generating station. The leat runs parallel to the East Lyn River for 350 metres. The water entered via a rock cut sluice, now blocked. The inner face of the leat is also rock cut, while the outer, riverside, wall is built of local stone, faced with concrete. A series of side sluices were used to release water back into the river when necessary. At the western end of the leat is a clearing shed, marking the point where the leat gave way to an overground pipe. The generating station was opened in 1890 and continued in use until August 1952, when it was destroyed in a major flood. Scheduled (not clearing shed). [3] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 4. [4] The site was surveyed in May 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. It was given a survival score of 8. [5]

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Article in serial: Tucker, D.G.. 1977. Hydro-Electricity for Public Supply in Britain. Industrial Archaeology Review. P.141-147.
  • <2> Report: Salvatore, J.P.. 2002. English Heritage Monument Protection Programme. Site Visit by JP Salvatore, 12 February 2002. MPP 144554.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Various. Scheduled Monument Notification . 16 October 2002.
  • <4> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <5> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015. Archaedia.



Grid reference Centred SS 7313 4897 (168m by 312m) Estimated from sources
Map sheet SS74NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Related Articles (1)

External Links (2)

Other Statuses/References

  • Coastal Risk 2014: Flood Zone 2 fluvial
  • Coastal Risk 2014: Flood Zone 3 fluvial
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 65394
  • Devon SMR: SS74NW/252
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 NW91
  • National Trust HER Record: MNA105830
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1368942

Record last edited

Jul 21 2021 4:39PM


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