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Bishopscourt Farm

Period: Modern

NGR Easting: 233028

NGR Northing: 492438

Description: Modern watermill and associated water management.

A watermill is presumed to have existed at Bishopscourt farm for at least a century and a half on the basis of the presence of a 220m-long leat marked on the Ordnance Survey 1:2500 First Edition mapping of 1869. Modern mapping (2017) annotates the building as 'Mill (Disused)'.

The leat, controlled by a sluice marked near the northern end of the dam, draws water from the lower of two millponds in the Bishop's Glen. It leads to the rear of an outbuilding (centred at the grid reference provided) forming part of the farmstead, and a short tailrace is shown issuing from the gable of the building, from where it rejoins the main watercourse. An additional channel is shown running along the rear wall of the building to carry any waterflow when the mill was not in use.

The mill presumably served latterly to process farm produce. Any predecessor on the site may have additionally processed grain collected as the bishop's tithe. A document recording a parochial perambulation in 1677 mentions the existence of a mill. It is noteworthy that the water supply for the mill is derived from an extensive catchment consisting of at least four watercourses.

Water storage is provided by two millponds situated in the Bishop's Glen to the south-east. As well as the sluice controlling the mill leat, a second sluice at the southern end of the dam impounding the lower and larger of the two ponds governs the flow of water through the glen, which by at least the middle of the eighteenth century had been landscaped.

View map location on Archaeology Data Service

Site & Monument Type: watermill

Category: National Monuments Record: Archaeological Sites [multi-site]

Site ID number: 1105.00

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