The project is a community led initiative led by Dulverton Weir & Leat Conservation Trust as Lead Project Partner with Project Partners:-
Exmoor National Park Authority (ENPA)
Westcountry Rivers Trust (WCRT)
Young Somerset (YS)
Project Partners are bound by a Project Partner Agreement in the delivery of the project.
The project will reveal, restore, celebrate and share:-
- The physical built heritage of Dulverton’s medieval Urban Watermill Landscape (weir, mill leat and watermill system) which has been recognised by academics as ‘one of the best preserved medieval Urban Watermill Landscapes in England’. The system has national heritage importance because it is largely intact though it is urgently in need of preservation and conservation.
- The social and economic heritage of Dulverton’s Urban Watermill Landscape. Court Leat Reports of 1320 detail members of the community being compelled to work ‘a day on the weir’ or ‘a day on the leat’ and later ‘Copyholder’ Records in the 1750s give names and addresses of Dulverton residents with these duties specified. It is clear from these records and others that management of the watermill system was done by the whole community over several hundreds of years.
Our project outcomes will be:-
- The restoration and preservation of the ancient structure of the weir and leat and the wildlife dependant on it.
- The presentation and promotion of Dulverton’s industrial heritage to a wider range of people.
- The provision of a vehicle for a wider range of people to be involved in heritage through interpretation and explanation materials, community and volunteer engagement and the provision of a learning resource for education, arts, skills development and learning.
This project is an opportunity to address major needs within Dulverton and the wider Exmoor community:-
- To rediscover and share the forgotten history of Dulverton’s industrial heritage and Dulverton’s part in the first (water powered) Industrial Revolution.
- The need for Dulverton’s weir and leat to be restored and safeguarded.
- The need to obviate difficulties fish experience in moving up and down river.
- The need for improved and safer facilities for canoeists to navigate the weir.
- The need to improve disabled access to the leat.
- The need for a Management Plan for Dulverton’s weir and leat giving holistic, sustainable and secure future governance.
Successful completion of the project will give also give positive impacts on the environment more generally and on the local economy.
Considerable feasibility and organisational work has been carried out on the project so far including outline engineering designs and costings provided by professional companies with experience in relevant sectors. The owners of the portion of the weir and leat covered by this project (West Somerset Council – WSC) have given a letter of intent to transfer ownership to the Trust at the appropriate time and Solicitors for WSC and the Trust have together made considerable progress in putting the necessary legal arrangements in place.
Interested in joining in?
Call or email Philip Hull 01398 firstname.lastname@example.org