Stonehouse Leat and Banks

Next to a drain in Venn Lane is a marker stone with the inscription “Stonehouse Leat and Banks 1593”. It was in fact installed during the 19th century when the Stonehouse Leat was upgraded to serve the growing population of East Stonehouse. A similar stone can be seen by the park entrance on Peverell Park Road. They were to denote ownership and responsibility for the water course, in particular near the town boundaries; the towns of Plymouth and Devonport having expanded their boundaries in the 19th century.

Stonehouse Leat was constructed between 1593 and 1595 – soon after the Plymouth Leat or Drake’s Leat completed in 1591.  It brought water from six springs in the Higher Peverell area to East Stonehouse in the area now occupied by the Millfields Trust – the old Naval Hospital.  Drake’s Leat brought water from Dartmoor to the Sutton Harbour area.  You can see the course of both leats on this 1854 map with the Stonehouse Leat crossing land which is now Central Park.

The leat has been culverted for most of its course and there are two possible routes for it as it approaches Venn Lane; one from the north east and the other from a more northerly direction.

1854 map survey