BATHPOOL & LEWARNE

Postcard
Post Office
Chapel
Band of Hope
Harris' Smithy
Bathpool Mill

The brook that flows down from the Rodd Mine and into the Lynher separates Bathpool from Lewarne.

The distinction is no longer considered important by the authorities, people from afar or even some of the local folk.

The most important feature here is the bridge over the River Lynher with its slipway into the river. On an evening just before Christmas the community gathers to sing carols together on the bridge which is lit with candles. Everyone is wrapped up in coats, gloves and scarves. Mulled wine and mince pies are served. It is a truly wonderful start to Christmas.

A Postcard of Bathpool - taken from Botternell around 1907

Bathpool Post Office

Bathpool Wesleyan Chapel

Bathpool Wesleyan Band of Hope 1902

This was taken at Lanoy. Albert Jewell has been marked with the letter "A" and Ethel Buckingham with the letter "B"

Harris' Smithy, Bathpool

Richard Harris' smithy was operational from the 1890s well into the 1960s and perhaps beyond that. Richard died in 1953 and his son, Harold, took over the business. Harold died in retirement in Weston-Super-Mare in 1994.

click on each photo for a larger image
Looking west and east along Mill Lane

Looking east
Inside the tractor store
Storage in the smithy
Arthur Mead at the anvil

Les Ruby welding
Harris' Smithy was on Rilla Mill 265
Harold and Winifred Harris with their daughter Hilary at the retirement of Sid Daniels, c 1957
1901 Advertisement

Images from Brian and Reta Ruby, taken about 1960

Bathpool Mill

Bathpool Mill is a complex of small buildings on the banks of the River Lynher close to Bathpool Bridge.

The two main buildings were a water mill and a home for the miller and his family. In mediaeval times it was customary for the lord of the manor to lease arable land to tenant farmers on condition that they brought their grain to one of his specific mills for grinding. It is highly likely that Bathpool Mill was part of such an arrangement for local tenant farmers of the Duchy of Cornwall; upstream was Battens Mill, the mill for the Trebartha Estate; downstream was Rilla Mill in Linkinhorne . There are other buildings on the Bathpool Mill site to service the grain milling operation as well as the miller's farming activities. It is possible that all the buildings on the site have been altered over the centuries as the needs of the land owner and the miller changed.

This aerial image shows the River Lynher flowing from the top left to the bottom right at Bathpool Bridge; click on the image for a larger version.

To power the mill a channel, known as a leat, was cut starting a little further upstream, to take water from the river and bring it to the water wheel. Its course can be seen as it flowed past the mill building, which fronts onto Mill Lane, and then conitnued its path back into the Lynher just north of the bridge. The leat is now largely filled in but the section between the mill and the river has been partly restored. The wheel was an overshot wheel like the one shown here. The other roofed building is Bathpool Millhouse and was the home of the miller and his family.

These two buildings and the bridge hold protected status because of their antiquity and importance. The listed descriptions of these three structures are as follows:

  • Bathpool Mill - Probably C18. Stone rubble. Steeply pitched slate roof with hipped ends. Plan: Rectangular plan, probably originally powered by an overshot water wheel on the right hand end (now gone). Ground rises to rear and the loft is approached through a door in the left hand end. Exterior: Two storeys. Entrance on left with stable type door. Small pivot C20 windows to right and on first floor. Interior: Machinery removed.
     
  • Bathpool Millhouse - Probably C17 origins. Stone rubble with granite dressings. Slate roof with gable ends. Stone rubble and ashlar granite end stacks, the left hand stack projecting with set offs and the right hand stack with a cloam oven projection. Plan: Possibly two room and cross passage plan. Larger hall kitchen on right and smaller possibly parlour on left, partitioned off with a dairy to rear. Exterior: Two storeys. Asymmetrical 3-window front with C19 6-panel door in open timber porch, flanked by two 2-light casements . Three C19 2-light casements on first floor. Rear elevation with C17 granite 3-light mullion window lighting dairy to rear left. Above this window is a blocked window opening which has a granite frame with some reset dressed granite.
     
  • Bathpool Bridge - Road bridge over River Lynher. Probably late C19. Stone rubble and granite. 5-span bridge with stone rubble and granite piers which project slightly forward. Stone rubble cutwaters on upstream side truncated below parapets. The lintels are constructed of large roughly cut pieces of granite. The parapets are of stone rubble. Henderson, C and Coates, N Old Cornish Bridges and Streams reprinted 1972.

It is possible that earlier references to the mill may exist in the archived documents of The Duchy of Cornwall but the earliest known record in the parish register dates to the baptism of John Barrett on 4 June 1817. John was baptised at St Torney's and was the only child of the miller and his wife - Richard and Annabella Barrett.

At this time the land and mill was owned by The Duke of Cornwall and was leased to the Barrett family who worked the mill. By the time of the making of the 1840 tithe map Richard Barrett had moved to Bearah Farm, downstream on the River Lynher and on the opposite bank. His lease on the mill from The Duchy was still extant and so he sub-let the mill and its operations to Thomas Haley. The extract from the tithe map (see below and click for a larger image) shows that the miller also occupied several fields, outlined in red, which were used for timber and wood, growing crops and cultvating fruit. The meadow land was probably used for grazing animals.

Richard and Annabella died in May 1853 and November 1854 respectively and their son, John, took over Bearah Farm until his death in 1896. How long the Barrett family continued to hold the lease on Bathpool Mill is not known.

Thomas Haley and family are shown at Bathpool Mill until Thomas died in May 1854. His widow, Mary, remarried to John Hill of Kingbear in August 1855 and John Barrett was one of the witnesses at the wedding. It is likely that the next occupant of Bathpool Mill was Henry Jones who was still there in 1861.

The census returns show the miller as follows:

  • 1841: Thomas Haley (33) - a miller; with his family, two mill workers and a domestic servant
  • 1851: Thomas Haley (43) - a master miller; with his family, two mill workers and a lodger (a tin miner)
  • 1861: Henry Jones (40) - a miller; with his family and two mill workers
  • 1871: William Babb (39) - a miller; with his family , a mill worker and a domestic servant
  • 1881: William Babb (49) - a miller and farmer; with his family
  • 1891: William Babb (59) - a farmer and miller; with his family (one son working in the mill) and three boarders (one retired farmer and two blacksmiths)
  • 1901 - William Babb (69) - a miller; with his family (one son working in the mill)

By 1911 the mill would appear to be not operational. William Babb had died in 1909 and his 80 year old widow was living at the mill with one of their daughters and a granddaughter. Their son, James, was 50 and also living in Bathpool but his occupation was given as a farmer. Nobody in Bathpool was recorded as a miller.

 

The images that make up the banner at the top of this page show the old post office and the bridge over the River Lynher.