MSO11558 - The Watermill, Hawkcombe, Porlock (Building)


The original corn mill was used until 1900 when the last miller died. In 1909 it was bought by the Porlock Electricity Supply Company, and powered by dynamo. The wheel was repaired and made to work in 1969.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (3)

Protected Status

Full Description

"Mill, disused" printed on 25 inch 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey map. [1] "Mill pond" printed on Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division 6 inch map. [2] Was a corn mill until 1900 when the last miller (Mr. Stenner) died. In 1909 it was bought by the Porlock Electricity Supply Company. Powered a dynamo in conjunction with the mill in Porlock. Supply was by bare copper wire to which houses clipped on. An additional floor was added to house a bank of batteries, a new wheel and gearing to work generator. Wheel repaired and made to work in 1969 by Mr O Huish. Original wheel was made by Mr W Huish of Porlock and was 14 feet in diameter and 3 feet wide, with 30 "L" buckets. Mill taken over by Exe Valley Electricity Company (Whitehall Securities) in 1929. [3,4] In a wooded setting, the two-storey Water Mill buildings with restored overshot wooden wheel date from the 19th to early 20th century. Built of stone rubble throughout, the later wing has lowered dormers, and timber casement windows with narrow glazing bars. [5,7] Electricity [in Porlock] came in 1911. The Porlock Electric Company was formed and electricity was produced by the water mill in Hawkcombe. It was the Rector's mill as it was in the Rectorial Manor. [6] Building (presumably the mill) and leat shown on Ordnance Survey 1st Edition 25 inch map and Porlock Tithe Map. [8,9] Recorded by NRIM. Photo available. [10] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [11] The mill is mentioned in a publication on the industrial archaeology of Somerset. [12] The mill race is shown on historic mapping and the 2022 MasterMap data. It originates at a weir on the Hawkcombe Stream at SS 8853 4598. [1,13] The heritage asset was assessed for inclusion on the Exmoor Local Heritage List in November 2022. It was decided to add the asset to the Local Heritage List. [14]

Sources/Archives (14)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. County Series; 2nd Edition (1st Revision) 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1904, 34(5).
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560. ss24NE.
  • <3> Unassigned: Warren, D. 02.12.77. Somerset Industrial Archaeology Society.
  • <4> Report: Instone, E.. 1995. English Heritage Monuments Protection Programme Industrial Monuments Assessment, Step 3 Reports: The Iron Mining Industry.
  • <5> Report: Fisher, J.. 2002. Porlock: Conservation Area Character Appraisal. p21.
  • <6> Monograph: Corner, Dennis. 1992. Porlock in Those Days. Exmoor Books. p81, 93.
  • <7> Report: Pratt, N.. 2013. Porlock Conservation Area: Appraisal Document. Exmoor National Park Authority. 50, 78, Figure 60.
  • <8> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1854-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <9> Map: Cox, J. W.C.. 1841. Porlock Tithe Map and Apportionment. 13.3 inches : 1 mile.
  • <10> Archive: Council for British Archaeology. 1963 - 1980. National Record of Industrial Monuments. 128368, Recorded by MT Tucker, April 1969.
  • <11> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1127372, Extant 14 February 2022.
  • <12> Monograph: Daniel, P. (Ed.). 2019. A guide to the industrial archaeology of Somerset. Association for Industrial Archaeology. 2nd Edition. p 73, W29.1.
  • <13> Map: Ordnance Survey. 2022. MasterMap data. 1:2,500.
  • <14> Unpublished document: Dove, C.. 2022. Exmoor LHL Panel Meeting 28 November 2022. Exmoor National Park Authority.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11525
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO7967
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO7971
  • Local Heritage List Status (Listed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 NE32
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NBR Index Number: NRI01
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1127372
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 33955



Grid reference Centred SS 2886 1461 (47m by 268m)
Map sheet SS21SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Dec 13 2023 2:53PM


Your feedback is welcome. If you can provide any new information about this record, please contact us.