10th January, 2017 by Lauren Eads
Princetown Distillers has submitted plans to build what would be the highest whisky distillery in England on the plains of Dartmoor National Park in the west country.
An artist’s impression of the distillery
Documents submitted to the Dartmoor National Park planning authority outline plans for the demolition of two industrial units and the construction of a distillery, visitor centre and maturation warehouse in the village of Princetown.
According to the application, the facility would produce a “Scotch-style” whisky and provide jobs for 22 people when at full capacity. Dartmoor water would be used to make the spirit and, once established, the malt would come from barley grown on the moor. At 1,400 feet above sea level it would be the highest distillery in the UK, which Princetown said makes it ideal for the production and maturation of whisky.
“The elevation of the town gives the landscape a similar character to that of upland Scotland,” the application states. “A distillery placed here will be even higher than Scottish distillers. It will be the highest in the British Isles at circa 1,400ft elevation. The next highest is Dalwhinnie Distillery, which is located at 1,080ft.
“There is ample rainfall to supply water to the distillery. Today’s rain is tomorrow’s whisky. The elevation gives a reduced temperature which slows the maturation of the spirit, improving its character.”
The distillery is also intended to serve as a visitor attraction, with the nearby Princetown visitor centre already attracting around 170,000 visitors each year.
Princetown Distillers was listed as an incorporated company in March 2015, but is yet to release a product.
If the National Park Authority approves its plans, the £4 million distillery would become the second whisky producer in the park, following the Dartmoor Whisky Company which began operation late last year in Bovey Tracey.
The Dartmoor National Park is expected to make a decision on its proposals by 14th March 2017.