Cotehele Weir and Mill Leat

Cotehele Weir and Mill Leat

A leat runs from the weir to the mill to power the waterwheel. The weir was badly damaged and most of it was washed away by a flash flood in December 2020.

The waterwheel is an overshot design, with a wooden channel bringing water from the leat to the top of the waterwheel.

Most waterwheels in Cornwall used the overshot approach which generally requires more construction effort to feed water to the top of the wheel, compared to an undershot wheel which is simply placed in the river. Fairly recent publications in engineering journals have demonstrated that overshot wheels are more efficient at transferring energy than undershot waterwheels. This would have been particularly important during drier months when the supply of water from a small stream can be very limited. An overshot design also allowed the mill to be located slightly further away from the main river which has obvious advantages during floods.

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