MSO7074 - 19th Century leat to Simonsbath Sawmill (Monument)


A well defined leat which supplied a post-medieval sawmill at Simonsbath. This is visible as a channel 1.5 metres wide.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

A leat, which supplies a post-medieval sawmill at Simonsbath, runs from SS 7657 3919 to SS 7716 3919 on the northern slopes of the valley of the River Barle. The feature is well defined, consisting of a channel, 1.5 metres wide, cut into the steep natural slopes. [1] The leat described above is clearly visible on aerial photographs as an earthwork on the northern slopes of the River Barle valley. However, the earthwork begins at SS 7657 3919 rather than the reference given above. It is less clearly defined for the first 200 metres, and was probably ploughed out some time in the early 20th Century. In total the leat measures approximately 1-1.5 metres wide and approximately 540 metres long. [2,3] 'Old Leat' is marked on the Ordnance Survey 2010 MasterMap. [4] The leat is mapped using information from the NMP survey and the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map. [3,5] The leat was surveyed in May 2016. Its channel is 2 metres wide and 0.5 metres deep, with some stone facing visible at its western end. It terminates at a recently constructed sump or tank. The 1st Edition map shows this lies on or close to the line of an aqueduct or launder that carried the water to the sawmill's water wheel until the end of the 19th Century, when it was superseded by a turbine. [5,6] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [7] A survey to assist ENPA in decision making for potential acquisition, including history of the building, description of the building and leat, condition of the building, proposals for use of the building, and essential repair required. [8]

Sources/Archives (9)

  • --- Unpublished document: Exmoor National Park Authority. 2024. Exmoor Local Heritage List assessed by the Panel on 21 February 2024.
  • <1> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 28 October 1994.
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. CPE/UK/1980 4152-4153 (11 April 1947).
  • <3> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 73 NE. MD002190.
  • <4>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. [Mapped feature: #43215 ]
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1854-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <6> Report: Riley, H.. 2016. Survey and watching brief, Simonsbath Sawmill, Exmoor: Project report. 4-5.
  • <7> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1029797, Extant 17 November 2021.
  • <8> Report: Jones, M.H.. 1994. Simonsbath Sawmill Survey Summary Report.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Local Heritage List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 NE64
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1029797
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 35748



Grid reference Centred SS 2768 1392 (649m by 50m) Reference to SEM6703
Map sheet SS21SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (3)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Mar 4 2024 5:14PM


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