MSO10527 - Manor Mills, Roadwater (Building)


An 18th Century corn mill. Historic mapping suggests this building was originally much larger and extended northeastwards.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

Corn mill, now disused. C18, undergoing renovation at time of survey (December 1983). Red sandstone random rubble, brick dressings, rendered in parts, slate roofs, gabled facade with catslide roofed projection right, hipped on return. Plan: long rear wing fronted to left with 2 and a half storey gabled bay, small addtion set in angle. 2 storeys, 3 bays; hoist opening gable end with coved hood and bargeboards carried on diagonal supports, loft opening with lobed top and linked plank door below, recessed bays to right, 2 unglazed openings, a 9 pane window 2 segmental headed openings blocked, undergoing restoration. Long 4 bay return, segmental headed openings, waterwheel at rear. Interior not accessible at time of survey. Roadwater was noted in C18 and C19 for the large number of mills set beside the Washford River, many of which were fulling mills. [1] English Heritage Listed Building Number: 264867. First Listed on 21/12/1984. [2] Stone, Random rubble walls. Gabled roof [3] The mill is shown on historic mapping as being a much larger building, extending northeastwards and possibly abutting / joining on to the building which now runs parallel to the main road to the north. [4,5] The building was visited in June 2012 as part of the rapid condition survey of Exmoor's Listed Buildings 2012-13. It received a BAR score of 1. [6] A review of historical documents and remaining features of the mill was undertaken in 2013. It was suggested that Manor Mills was built in the 18th Century and was used for milling grain or corn. There are other references to it being in use as an engineering works and as a saw mill. Much of the machinery is still in place. [7] Historic building recording of the mill took place in 2014. The site of Manor Mill, Roadwater, is thought to be of late medieval origin, the mill being built to grind grain for tenants in the south of the parish of Old Cleeve until the early 17th Century. In the mid 19th Century the site was developed for light industrial use, probably as a result of the local iron extraction industry and the building of a mineral railway down the valley, with corn milling and malting taking place alongside a workshop which was used for millwrighting and engineering. A sawmill was also set up outside the mill in the early 20th Century. Although the waterwheel was removed some time ago, the primary gearing and two pairs of millstones remain in place. [8] South West Archaeology was commissioned to undertake historic building recording and archaeological monitoring and recording for the workshop at Roadwater Manor Mill. The workshop is a large two storey stone building, with loft, formerly serving a large historic mill in the village of Lower Roadwater. The majority of the building we see today appears to date to two phases, the 1880s and the 1890s/early 20th Century. Two trenches were dug along the line of the west elevation, which showed the rubble infill of the wheelrace, the poor footings of the former walls and the depth of the wheelpit pier foundations. Further surviving footings could be seen as scars on the ground surface, but these areas were not subject to excavation as part of the current works. No other features were seen and there were no finds. [9] Manor Mills is 18th or 19th Century in date. It is currently derelict and the gable end has loading doors. [10]

Sources/Archives (10)

  • <1> Index: 21/12/1984. Thirty-first List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. Distict of West Somerset (Somerset).
  • <2> Unassigned: Webster CJ, Historic Environment Record. 2005. Staff Comments, Somerset County Council.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Somerset County Council. Various. Somerset HER parish files - Exmoor records.
  • <4> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1904. 6" sheet 47NE.
  • <6> Report: Lawrence, G.. 2014. Exmoor National Park: Rapid condition survey of listed buildings 2012-13.
  • <7> Report: Wisnicka, A.. 2013. Manor Mill, Roadwater: Historical appraisal.
  • <8> Report: Watts, M.. 2014. Manor Mill, Roadwater, Somerset: Historic building recording.
  • <9> Report: Wapshott, E. and Boyd, N.. 2017. The Workshop, Roadwater Manor Mill, Lower Roadwater, Exmoor National Park: Historic building recording.
  • <10> Monograph: Orbach, J. and Pevsner, N.. 2014. The Buildings of England: Somerset - South and West. Yale University Press. 542.



Grid reference Centred ST 0343 3867 (19m by 27m)
Map sheet ST03NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (1): 375/4/109
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12163
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 30808
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 35111

Record last edited

Apr 19 2021 12:32PM


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