Dartmoor Explorations

A collection of walks, discoveries, insights and pictures of exploring Dartmoor National Park


Steve Grigg

In 1905 this hydroelectric plant was built at Saddle Bridge beside the O Brook on the Hexworthy road to supply electricity to Hooten Wheals (Hexworthy) Mine. The station had its water supplied by a 16 inch iron pipe to a Pelton Wheel, which took its supply off the Wheal Emma Leat at a point on the hillside above.

The electricity generated supplied the Power House beside Low’s Shaft for the mine and New Mill for the stamps, jigging tables and buddles. It is said that an armature of a dynamo can still be seen in one of the buddles.

Saddle 1
Overlay on map showing the water source for the power station (generator house) at Saddle Bridge.
Saddle 2
An old picture of Saddle Bridge, with the hydro-electric plant seen top right. The photograph would have been taken between 1905 (year of construction) and 1929 (year of demolition) of the hydro-electric plant
Saddle 3
The ruins of the power station today.
Saddle 4
The water wheel (Pelton) and machinery were dismantled around 1929.
Saddle 5
The power conducted was taken to the mine via overhead cables.
Saddle 6
Exit point of water 
Saddle 7
Close up of exit grill
Saddle 8
Wall of the power station next to the O brook
Saddle 9
No remains of machinery or where it was located is discernable.
Saddle 10
South side of the bridge with wall of the power station just discernable
Saddle 11
Inside New Mill at Hooten Wheals, with buddles
Saddle 12
The buddles today. It is said that an armature of a dynamo can still be seen in one of the buddles.
Saddle 13
The tranquil waters of the O Brook today where the hydro-electic plant would have dispensed its water.
Saddle 14
Old iron pipe found below Saddle Bridge at SX66231 72345. Was this part of the original pipeline (now moved) – It certainly looks like the correct diameter.

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