The History of Leith

June 23, 2008

The Domesday mill and Leith

Last night I was watching Time team on Television about a Mill with a recorded history dating from the Domesday Book. Please see details belw-

The Domesday mill.
Dotton is a small hamlet in east Devon, close to the river Otter. In the Domesday Book, compiled around 1086, there is a record of there having been a mill there, to the value of five shillings. The last working mill in the village closed down in 1946, however, and in 1968 the building was ordered to be demolished by the local council because the wheel pit was regarded as a danger to children.

Maps spanning the past couple of hundred years show a range of buildings on the site, and identify the site as Dotton Mill. From the 16th century onwards there is a range of documents that also refer to a mill. “ for more click here

On the above link is the mention of a “Excavations along the line of the leat, or water channel” for more details go to A leat (also lete or leet) is the name, common in the south and west of England, for an artificial watercourse, or aqueduct, supplying water to a watermill or its mill pond. Leats may also deliver water for mineral washing and concentration, for irrigation, or to a dye or other industrial works.

Now notice the spelling of “Leat” as “Lete or Leet and one of the early spellings of Leith was “Leeth”. I wonder if the name of Leith actually came from a corruption of “Leet” considering the large number of watermills that lined its banks for centuries.

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