The history of Watersmeet

Watersmeet and its romantic setting is a haven for our many visitors. Built originally as a fishing lodge and romantic retreat, with connections to the romantic poets, it has been a tea room since 1901.

Lynrock mineral factory

The Lynrock mineral water factory opened on the East Lyn in 1911. Owned and run by the Attree brothers, who lived at Myrtleberry a short distance up the river. It was a popular watering hole for the Edwardians who could sample what was reputed to be the most palatable water in the workd with radio-active qualities that could cure gout. The factory bottled mineral water and made ginger beer until 1939 when it closed due to lack of demand. The factory was destoryed in the flood of 1952 when 23cm of rain fell in one day. Altogether 34 people died, 93 buildings were demolished and thousands of people were left homeless.
The factory where water from the Lyn was bottled
Historic image of the Lynrock mineral factory

Electricity pioneer: the East Lyn river

Lynmouth had one of the first hydro electric power stations in the UK, built in 1890 and fed by the tumbling torrent of the East Lyn River. The station was active until the 1950s when Lynmouth was connected to the National Grid. This hydro electric allowed the residents of Lynmouth to enjoy electric lamps whilst most other hoseholds were still reliant on gas. The electicity was on for just a few hours in the evening and on winter mornings. On the night of the flood the engineers kept the light s going for as long as possible, but were forced to leave the station at 9pm. The station survived the Lynmouth flood of August 1952, but was later demolished to make the river wider.
The old hydro electric power station in Lynmouth
Historic image of hydro electric power station

Life at Watersmeet in the late Iron Age

Standing at Watersmeet some 2,300 years ago you would have seen smoke rising from the hilltops,  sign of the people living there. Two fortified farmstaeds know as Myrtleberry North and South camp provided a protected home. Thatched round houses were lived in by Iron Age people and their animals. This was surrounded by ramparts and steep sided hills. Whikst not much evidence remains the views are stunning from these now sceduled monuments.
 
Cross section of a lime kiln in use
Diagram of a working limekiln