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List Entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.


List entry Number: 1143076



The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.


District: Cornwall

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Withiel

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II

Date first listed: 15-Apr-1988

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 67620

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

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Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


WITHIEL SX 06 NW 4/153 Mill about 20 metres south west of - West Ruthern Farmhouse


Watermill, driving millstones for grain and a set of stamps for bone crushing. Mid C19. The mill house is in slatestone rubble and cob, slate roof with ridge tiles and gable ends. Plan: The arrangement of the waterwheel and machinery is very unusual. The leat runs from the west, with wooden launder driving an overshot wheel in an open wheel pit. There is a narrow road between the waterwheel and the mill house. The gearing is taken under the road, to the mill house, which has one floor at road level, and a second floor at a lower level. The tailrace runs below the level of the gearing and comes out in a channel at the lower ground floor level on the outer side of the mill house. There is an open-fronted shed attached to the rear of the mill house, also with 2 floors, with a subsidiary gearing which drives a set of 3 wooden stamps for bone crushing. The millstones are on the upper ground floor level of the mill house, with a chute below, and a second subsidiary set of gearing to drive a wheel which would have had a belt drive. This probably drove machinery on the lower ground floor level by the stamps. Exterior: The waterwheel is in wood, with cast iron shrouds and wooden floats, made by Harris of Wadebridge. Across the road, in the open-fronted shed at upper ground floor level there is a pair of wheels set vertically (the equivalent of a great spur wheel in the unusual arrangement) with a mainshaft which drives the set of millstones at the same level inside the mill house. The millstones are in granite, in a wooden housing, with a wooden hopper set on a wooden frame. The frame has an inner frame with serrated edge, possibly a form of miller's damsel. On the floor below the millstones is a sack-filling chute. From the open-fronted shed at upper level, there is subsidiary gearing to the lower level. This drives a wooden roller which operates the rising and falling of the stamps. The stamps are wooden posts, with cast iron banding and stone bases. This is said to be the only set of wooden stamps surviving intact in Cornwall. In the mill house, on the lower ground floor level, there is a further set of gearing, with one wheel set horizontally and one vertically, to increase the speed to drive a cast iron wheel with wide flat rim, which would have operated a belt drive. The function of this set of machinery is not clear, but there is a hole through the wall to the lower level of the shed, and it may have powered some further machinery there, possibly for cider-making. The gearing wheels are set on a granite plinth. The mill house is in cob and rubble, and has a stable door on the road side; on the outer side there is a door at the lower ground floor level and an upper level loading door with repair work in brick. There is a single storey lean-to in cob to right, with door. The open-fronted shed which houses the stamps is open-fronted on the road side at the upper level, and has a door at the lower level on the outer side. This set of machinery is in unusually good condition, brought back into full working order circa 1960; since then the water supply has dried up. The combination of uses, for grinding grain and crushing, and the arrangement of machinery, most of which drives horizontally on one level, is unusual. This avoids the necessity of the usual 3-storey building for a mill, and takes advantage of the drop in ground level between the waterwheel and the lower ground level of the mill house.

Listing NGR: SX0117666823

Selected Sources

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National Grid Reference: SX0117666823


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End of official listing