Lopwell Dam, Tamar Valley, Devon

Grade II Listed Pumphouse Restoration

Set within the Tamar Valley AONB and beside The Maristow Estate, the original pump house at Lopwell Dam has been converted into a cafe, open terrace and visitor centre for the South West Lakes Trust.

The dam straddles the upper tidal mark of the River Tavy and is surrounded by mudflats, saltwater marshes and dense woodland making it a haven for wildlife. Working closely with ecologists, we have ensured that the building 'habitat' supports a wide range of birds, bats, butterflies and insects.

The site has played host to river crossing, fishing and mining activity since the 13th century. During the 19th century, it was a busy port under the care of Lord Roborough & Maristow. The current building dates from 1953 and is a simple, open vaulted pitched roof space with stone piers and gables.

The newly glazed facade of the cafe opens up onto a flagstoned terrace with panoramic views down the river. The muted, robust palette of materials has been chosen to complement the weathered dam walls and mature woodland setting. The Delabole slate roof, open metal trusses and stonework have all been carefully repaired using traditional techniques.

The venue has become a popular place for active watersports in addition to wildlife and river enthusiasts.

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