Great Sluice

14 Sep 1999
Great Sluice, Braunton, North Devon, Devon
Photograph (Digital)
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This information is taken from the statutory List as it was in 2001 and may not be up to date.


9/36 Great Sluice -

- II

Sluice to drain marshes. Circa 1811 to 1815 by James Green, engineer. Coursed and dressed stone revetment walls with 3 segmentally arched sluice openings with 2 semi-circular retaining walls. The piers are grooved for sluice gates to slide down. Continuous impost around piers and retaining walls at springing level of arches.

The opposite outer end of sluice has retaining walls at right angles either side and 2 large projecting round-ended piers either side of timber sluice gates to single arched sluice.

Braunton Marsh was probably reclaimed in the Middle Ages from tidal waters of the River Taw, but from 1811-15 the marsh was more extensively drained after authorization by Act of Parliament (1811) as a result of the endeavours of the Lords of the Manors of Braunton Gorges, Braunton Abbotts, Braunton Arundel and Saunton and others who had grazing rights on the marshes. They sought to enclose Braunton Marsh which was regularly flooded by tidal water. 949 acres were reclaimed. John Pascoe was the surveyor and James Green (County Surveyor) the engineer. The adjacent Horsey Island to the south east was reclaimed between 1852- 1857.

Historically these late enclosures are particularly interesting in Braunton where the Great Field immediately north of the marsh is oneof only 3 open field systems to survive in England. Although today (1984) there are only 5 farmers in the Great Field their holdings are still widely dispersed over the field as they were in the Middle Ages when there were about 100 farmers.

Reference: A H Slee Trans. Devonshire Assoc. (1969) Vol.100, pp.101-110.

W G Hoskins and H P R Finberg, Devonshire Studies, pp.265-271 and p.332.

Listing NGR: SS4775834190


This is part of the Series: IOE01/1380 IOE Records taken by Robin Mellor; within the Collection: IOE01 Images Of England


© Mr Robin Mellor. Source: Historic England Archive

This photograph was taken for the Images of England project

People & Organisations

Photographer: Mellor, Robin

Rights Holder: Mellor, Robin


Stone, Georgian Sluice, Maritime, Water Regulation Installation, Water Supply And Drainage