Exmoor's Past - the online Historic Environment Record


MDE1069 - Parracombe Mill

ENPHER Number:MDE1069
Name:Parracombe Mill
Type of Record:Building
Grid Reference:SS 6680 4483

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record caveat document.


A mill with medieval origins. The existing two storey mill has now been converted into a dwelling, but the wheel was retained to generate electricity, fed by a well defined leat.


Parracombe Mill  © Exmoor National Park Authority

Parracombe Mill © Exmoor National Park Authority

Monument Types

  • WATERMILL (AD 16th Century to Modern - 1543 AD? to 2050 AD (Unclassified))

Designated Status

  • Conservation Area: Parracombe Conservation Area


Watermill. A small two-storey grist mill, thought to be of 16th century origin, on the Barnstaple-Lynton road some four miles southwest of Lynton. It has been converted into a house and none of the machinery remains. [1]

The overshot mill is made of cast iron, including the arms, with buckets of elm wood. It is placed on the outside of the building and is 14 feet in diameter. The mill house and granary are constructed of stone with slate roof and are all in good condition. No other machinery survives. This watermill is believed to date from 1650 and was last in operation in October 1942. It does not operate as a grist mill now, but is used to generate electric power for private use. The wheel was reconditioned in 1967. [2]

Miller's house including attached outbuilding and mill. Probably late 17th century with 19th and 20th century alterations. Painted stone rubble, partially slate-hung at right gable end. Bitumized slate roof with gable ends. Stone rubble stack at left end with tapered cap and drip. The house, which is slightly cranked, has room to each side of entrance hall containing staircase, with lofted outbuilding attached at left end.. Two storey outshut to rear right end of house. Mill building extending at right angles from rear left end has outshot mill wheel still in working order at its gable end. [3]

No machinery remains. Restored overshot wheel now a garden feature operated by a small stream. Leat is a narrow waterway meandering through the garden. Owners' historical notes show the mill was used as a fulling mill in 1543. In 1856 it was a farm mill. Restored and reopened 1967. D. Warren mentioned the wheel working a lathe to produce spinning wheels in 1975. It was 14 feet 9 inches in diameter, 3 feet 3 inches wide with 9 inch side plates and 42 oak buckets. [4]

Corn mill marked on the Ordnance Survey map. [5]

The mill is supplied by a leat from the southeast which still carries water. It flows from SS 6696 4475 some 180 metres to the southeast of the mill, and comprises a well defined earthwork, the channel being dammed up against the slope by some 0.8 metres. [6]

Parracombe Mill, a former corn mill, and originally dates from the late 17th Century with 19th and 20th century alterations. Built of whitened stone rubble, with a partially slate hung gable there is a stone rubble stack with a tapered cap and drip stone. The outshot mill wheel, fed by a small stream, with the machinery formerly in an attached out building ext ending from the rear left end of the house, is still in working order. [8]

<1> Minchinton, W., 1976, Industrial Archaeology in Devon, P. 2? (Monograph). SEM7626.

<2> Thorpe, J., 1989, North Devon Windmills, P. 48 (Article in serial). SDE88846.

<3> Department of the Environment, List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest , HHR: Parracombe (9 April 1987) 78 (Index). SMO5109.

<4> University of the Third Age, 1995, Watermills in North Devon 1994 (Monograph). SDE13174.

<5> Ordnance Survey, 1903/38, 6 Inch: 1903-38 (Map). SDE65803.

<6> Wilson-North, R., Field Investigators Comments, RCHME Field Investigation, 1 October 1993 (Unpublished document). SMO7329.

<7> Lawrence, G., 2014, Exmoor National Park: Rapid condition survey of listed buildings 2012-13 (Report). SEM8060.

<8> Fisher, J., 2004, Parracombe: Conservation Area Character Appraisal, 14 (Report). SEM6948.

Other References

  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (6): 1544/6/135/1
  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (6): 1544/6/135/2
  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (6): 1544/6/135/3
  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS64SE41
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 2104
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20159
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20160
  • Local List Status (No)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 SE27
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 34748
Date Last Edited:Feb 28 2016 2:03PM


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