MEM22443 - Possible medieval grist mill at Tarr Steps (Monument)


A possible building is shown on a map of 1802 and shown on the ground as a rectangular hollow measuring 14 metres by 5.4 metres. It may be the remains of a medieval grist mill.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A study of Tarr Steps in 2013 suggested that a leat that makes its way over 1.5 kilometres through North Barton Wood, channelled water from West Water to drive the water wheel of a water grist mill, sited close to the Barle on the Hawkridge side of the river. Westcombe, a tenanted farm of the Hawkridge Rectory Estate, had a water grist mill by 1571 and the bridge may have been built to serve the mill. The tradition that local farmers on both the Hawkridge and Dulverton sides of the river repaired and maintained the bridge every year may hark back to the time when a grist mill at Tarr Steps was used by the agricultural community. A suggested site is by the river, just upstream from the ford, where a possible building is shown on the 1802 map. A rectangular hollow is visible here, somewhat obscured by timber and brash but measuring 14 metres north-south, 5.4 metres east-west and is 1.4 metres deep. A large tree stump, perhaps 150 years old, lies on the southwest corner of the hollow. A substantial leat ends 10 metres to the north of the north side of this hollow. Dating evidence for the leat suggests it was built prior to a boundary bank constructed between 1841 and 1882-88. [1] The grid reference supplied for the suggested grist mill is SS 8674 3212. [2]

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <1> Report: Riley, H.. 2013. An historical and archaeological study of Tarr Steps, Exmoor National Park: Project report. 1, 8-11.
  • <2> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. Hazel Riley, 13 November 2013.

External Links (0)

Other Statuses/References

  • Local List Status (Unassessed)



Grid reference SS 8674 3212 (point) (GPS derived)
Map sheet SS83SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Related Articles (1)

Record last edited

Mar 23 2021 2:50PM


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