Leat stones, water works and water catchments

The Stonehouse Leat was constructed in 1594 to 1595 and brought water by an open channel, about three miles long, into the town of East Stonehouse. Only the last 1,100 metres were within East Stonehouse itself. Marker stones were erected to record the ownership of the leat and its banks outside of the town (LSES).

Plymouth doesn't appear to have had a similar series of stones demarking any of the seventeen mile length of its town leat or watercourse, built in 1589 to 1591. However, there are a few markers, based on the Plymouth Corporation boundary stone design, that are believed to be associated with the course of the Plymouth Leat or, at least, with the Corporation's 19th century upgrades to the town's water supply (LSPC).

After the construction of the Burrator Reservoir, completed in 1898 and enlarged in 1928, Plymouth Corporation Water Works placed numerous markers on south west Dartmoor (PCWW). Farms within the water catchment area were purchased and cleared after 1916. The original PCWW 1917 stones appear to follow the line of theForest of Dartmoor boundary. Most of the stones that follow the Sheepstor Leat and pass over the summit of Sheeps Tor are dated 1919. There are three 1932 stones at Meavy Head. In addition, there are seven undated cast iron markers to be found at various Burrator related locations.

The Devonport Leat was built in 1793 to 1801. Although lengths of the culvert still survive, there was never an associated series of marker stones. However, we have included one inscribed stone, for the Devonport Water Company. This is set in the aqueduct carrying the leat over the Cowsic River.

 East Stonehouse leat stone information [PDF, 153KB]

 Plymouth leat stone information [PDF, 119KB]