Lapford Mill

Lapford Mill and Post Office during the 1900s

The present Mill building is said to have been built around 1800, after the previous one was destroyed by a fire. The original mill was a two storey cob and thatch building, whereas the present building is of the local Devon Bluestone, has four floors and a slate roof.

The Archives in Exeter show that there has been a water mill on this site since before the Norman invasion in 1066. The Domesday Book records that the Miller had to pay a tax of 2 Shillings & 3 pence per year to the King for use of the water from the mill leat.

Kelly’s Directory for 1889 further records that “The Mill House was anciently the seat of the Gater family, who were seated here and in Morchard Bishop adjoining from 1434 to 1820; their property in this parish was sold to the Crootes”

img017Mr Croote apparently emigrated to South Africa and rented the mill and house to a Mr. Peter Tarr, who is recorded as being ‘Miller & Postmaster’.  Now closed, the mill house was also home to the village Post Office for much of the 20th century.

Eventually, the tenancy passed to the Stoneman family in 1879 and the title deeds show that the property was subsequently purchased by the Stonemans in 1910.

In June 1985 the property was purchased from the widow of Dennis Stoneman and passed through a number of owners who’s names are here respectfully omitted as they survive today and their permission has not been sought for inclusion.  That being said, there followed a number of owners who undertook a great deal of renovation works, whereupon the mill was fully operational (thought not commercial) in the 90s.

The mill is now owned, once again, by the Gater family who occupied the property for nearly four hundred years from the 15th Century.  It’s good to be back!


The Waterwheel before restoration


Model of the mill in Tiverton Museum