MSO7841 - Pitt Mill, Leighland Chapel (Monument)


A mill that may have replaced an earlier building. The leat is now almost infilled. The site is now occupied by the Two Rivers Paper Company.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (3)

Protected Status

Full Description

"Pit mill" printed on OSAD 6 inch map. [1] Leat partly infilled. Wheel pit extant had wheel 12ft diameter and 3ft wide which was overshot. The mill is stone built. Oak pit now houses derelict turbines from when the mill was used to generate electricity. [2] There was a mill at Leighland in 1672 which may have been the forerunner of this mill. It was also known as Webb's mill for a time and it apparently continued in use as a corn mill until the late C19. [3] The leat is now almost infilled and only runs for a short stretch. It survives best in the garden where a stone wall forms the retaining wall. Nothing remains of the wheel itself although the wheel pit can still be discerned. The mill can still be distinguished amongst the various additions and lean-tos that have been added to the building. Internally, much of the wooden machinery survives. At present the mill building is being converted into a paper mill. [4] Not named on OS 1:10,000 map. [7] During the first half of the C19 the mill was run by George Matthews. [8] In private ownership [9] The 1st and 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey maps mark this as a corn mill. [10,11] The Two Rivers Paper Company is situated at Pitt Mill. The mill has a leat of 170 yards that drove two sets of mill stones through a twelve foot overshot waterwheel. Its age is unknown but may have been predated by Webb's Mill at Leighland, operating in 1672. The surviving machinery is thought to be pre Victorian. The mill was worked by George Mathews, the Bandmaster in the early 1800s. Milling ceased c. 1900, although it ran very occasionally before 1925. The serviceable machinery was removed by the Nethercotts before the Second World War, with the stones going to Williton and the wheel being installed at Roadwater, driving a saw until it was smashed during floods. In the 1950s the leat was reopened and an electric turbine installed, but fell out of use when mains electricity was installed in 1966. The building was used as an agricultural store and workshop through much of the 20th Century. The cottage was originally a pair of tied dwellings for farmhands and then as a farm house for Pitt Farm when it was split from Leighland Farm in c.1950. The property was purchased by Jim and Lynne Patterson in 1988 and began producing handmade artists' watercolour paper after two years' restoration. The water used in the process comes from a well on site. [12] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [13] The mill is mentioned in a publication on the industrial archaeology of Somerset. [14]

Sources/Archives (13)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1962. 6" ST03NW.
  • <2> Unassigned: Warren, D. 24.11.77. Somerset Industrial Archaeology Society.
  • <4> Verbal communication: Various. 1900-. Somerset County Council / South West Heritage Trust staff comments. E Dennison, Somerset County Council, 29 January 1988.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Somerset County Council. 05.02.88. Somerset County Council to owner 05.02.88 - historical details.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Somerset County Council. 05.02.88. Somerset County Council to D Warren Somerset Industrial Archaeology Society 05.02.88 - possible site visit.
  • <7> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1976. 1:10,000 ST03NW.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Court, G. 02/1988. Court, G to SCC.
  • <9> Unpublished document: Somerset County Council. Various. Somerset HER parish files - Exmoor records. PRN 33887.
  • <10> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1854-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <11> Map: Ordnance Survey. County Series; 2nd Edition (1st Revision) 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <12> Serial: Exmoor Society. 1959-present. Exmoor Review. Volume 34 (1993), "Paper-making at Two Rivers", p35-38 (D Jessup).
  • <13> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 975123, Extant 30 May 2022.
  • <14> Monograph: Daniel, P. (Ed.). 2019. A guide to the industrial archaeology of Somerset. Association for Industrial Archaeology. 2nd Edition. p 73, W31.1.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11510
  • Local Heritage List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: ST 03 NW24
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 975123
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33887



Grid reference Centred ST 0369 3639 (114m by 128m)
Map sheet ST03NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Oct 11 2022 2:29PM


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