Devonport Leat

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Coordinates: 50°34′49″N 3°57′43″W / 50.5802°N 3.9620°W / 50.5802; -3.9620

Aqueduct on the leat near Burrator Reservoir over the River Meavy
Devonport leat looking East towards Cramber Tor at Raddick Hill Falls

The Devonport Leat is a leat constructed in the 1790s to carry fresh drinking water from the high ground of Dartmoor to the expanding dockyards at Devonport, Devon, England.[1][self-published source?] It is fed by five Dartmoor rivers: the West Dart, the Cowsic, the Hart Tor Brook, the River Meavy and the Blackabrook (this last apparently was the first portion to supply Plymouth Dock, officially renamed as Devonport on 1 January 1824). It was originally designed to carry water all the way to Plymouth Dock, a total distance of 27 miles, but has since been shortened[2] and the operational part of the leat now stops near the Burrator Reservoir dam. Some of the water goes through underground pipes to the water treatment works at Dousland; the rest goes into the Burrator Reservoir which provides most of the water supply of Plymouth. For part of the route to Dousland the pipes follow the routes of the old Plymouth Leat and of the disused Yelverton to Princetown Railway. Before the piped supply to Dousland was installed, the water was used for a hydroelectric turbine near Yelverton Reservoir and fed by a 12-inch-diameter (300 mm) pipe.

Dartmoor granite was used to construct the water channel, as well as a small aqueduct and a tunnel.


Route of Devonport Leat (blue); dashed red line shows edge of Dartmoor

The Devonport Leat begins a short distance to the north of Wistman's Wood and passes close to Two Bridges before heading towards Princetown.[3][self-published source?] Its water supply now ends up in Burrator Reservoir. It follows a meandering path across the moor, carefully selected by engineers to follow the natural contours of the land.[4][self-published source?]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Devonport Leat, 1801". 
  2. ^ "Devonport Leat". Archived from the original on 2012-03-13. 
  3. ^ "Devonport Leat". 
  4. ^ "The Leats of Dartmoor". 
  • Hawkings, David J. (1987). Water from the Moor. Devon Books. pp. 50–71. ISBN 0-86114-788-X. 

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