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HER Number:MDV3880
Name:Devon Great Consols, Railway

Summary

Railway line built in 19C from the Devon Great Consols mines to the port of Morwellham

Location

Grid Reference:SX 438 723
Map Sheet:SX47SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishGulworthy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTAVISTOCK

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX47SW/507
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • RAILWAY (XIX to XX - 1801 AD to 2000 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, SX47SW29 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV240783.


Ordnance Survey, 1884, 105SW (Cartographic). SDV218129.

Railway in use and disused recorded on OS 6" maps of 1884-1954. Other details: Also on OS 6" (1907) & (1954).


Goodridge, J. C., 1964, Devon Great Consols, a Study of Victorian Mining Enterprise, 235-7, pl 20 (Article in Serial). SDV240773.

Railway built to link the Devon Great Consols mine with the port of Morwellham. Horse power was inadequate for the amount of ore being raised. Construction began in 1857 and was completed in Nov 1858. The line had a maximum gradient of 1 in 48 and ran south for 4 1/2 miles above the river. Built to a standard gauge of 4ft.8 1/2 in. With rails weighing 39lb. A yard laid upon longitudinal sleepers. Worked at first by a single locomotive, but two more were added in 1859 and 1860. Two of the locomotives (pl.20) had cylinders of 12" diam, the third had 7" cylinders, they weighed 15 tons in running order. For conveying the freight there were 60 wagons, each weighing 2 1/4 tons and capable of carrying 3 1/2 tons. A train usually consisted of 8 to 10 wagons and took 20 minutes to cover the 4 1/2 miles. The last 1/2 mile of the line was an inclined plane with a gradient of 1 in 3 which led down to the ore quays at Morwellham 240' below. Trucks were lowered two at a time down this incline by a 4" rope and were balanced by two ascending trucks. Midway a double line of rail was laid for the trucks to pass each other. Power for haulage on the incline came from a 22" steam engine, which was built in the mine's own foundry at a considerable saving in cost. The engine and locomotives were supplied with water pumped by a 25ft. Water wheel. The line commenced at Wheal Anna Maria, where large bins were erected so that the ore could fall directly into the wagons. Branches were laid to the sawmill at Wheal Josiah and to the neighbouring mine of Bedford United. Total cost of the railway was $10,355, with $2,240 for additional machinery. Closed in 1900 when the mines shut down.


Booker, F., 1967, Industrial Archaeology of the Tamar Valley, 156-7 (Monograph). SDV240774.

Detailed description of railway equipment given.


Minchinton, W. E., 1973, Industrial Archaeology in Devon, 32 (Monograph). SDV7016.


Thomas, D. St. J., 1981, A Regional History of Railways of Great Britain, 127-8 (Monograph). SDV168.


Pye, A. R. + Dixon, T.
Pye, A. R. + Dixon, t., 1989, An Archaeological Survey of the Arsenic Works and an Inventory of the Other Historic Workings at Devon Great Consols Mine, Tavistock Hamlets, 21 (Report - Survey). SDV226597.

The line of the 1925 tramway to Wheal Frementor from Anna Maria is visible, although disturbed by landscaping of the arsenic works. At its southern end there are the remains of a skip incline.


Pye, A. R. + Dixon, T., 1989, The Arsenic Works at Devon Great Consols Mine, Tavistock, 79-111, Fig 1 (Article in Serial). SDV219136.

Surveyed by Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit in 1989. Most of the course of the railway from Wheal Anna Maria to Morwellham is still visible, although disturbed by landscaping near Anna Maria and the Arsenic Works. The branch to Wheal Emma and the bridge carrying a trackway from Emma to the settling ponds remain, although another near Wheal Anna Maria at SX42857340 has been half quarried away.


Greeves, T. A. P., 1991, An Assessment of Copper Mining in Devon (Copper, Brass, Tin), 1,18 (Report - Assessment). SDV60709.


Richardson, P. H. G., 1992, The Mines of Dartmoor and the Tamar Valley after 1913, 94-108, Fig 17 (Article in Serial). SDV323598.

Phases of railway recorded by Richardson. The pre-1903 railway was relaid to Bedford United Mine (see PRN 3861) in the 1920s, as was the branch to Wheal Anna Maria and the Arsenic Works (see PRN 3873). This latter branch was extended to Wheal Frementor (see PRN 42210) in 1925. In the 1920s an incline was constructed from the new Arsenic Works to Wheal Fanny.


Dyer, M. J. + Manning, P. T., 1998, Objective 5B: Lower Tamar Valley Recreation and Land Management Iinitiative: Cultural Heritage Appraisal, 37 (Report - non-specific). SDV319814.


Buck, C., 2002, Devon Great Consols: Archaeological Assessment, 124,130-2 Figs 7,9,15,16,21,38 (Report - Assessment). SDV241758.

Devon Great Consols railway ran from Wheal Anna Maria 'upper line' east to Agnes Shaft then on to Bedford United & the port of Morwellham. It ran from the Arsenic Refinery at SX42567326 to the A390 tunnel at SX44087289. The Lower Arsenic Refinery route ran from SX42837342 to 42597313. A mine waste dump tunnel was located at SX42877343 , Wheal Emma Bridge at SX43657358 & Agnes embankment & cutting from SX43547369 to SX43657357. The Upper waste rock railway line ran from SX42647353 to SX42887341 & the Lower railway line from SX42647350 to SX42887341. Other details: Sites 166,166/1,180,180/1,180/2,180/3,180/4.


Buck, C., 2003, Bedford United Mine: Archaeological Assessment, 60-2, Figs 8,24 (Report - Assessment). SDV319828.

The railway line was taken up and sold for scrap in 1903 when Devon Great Consols mine folded. The section from ‘Wheal Anna Maria’ arsenic works to ‘Bedford United Mine’ was relaid in the 1920s with a narrow guage line to take ore to and from ‘Bedford Mine’ for stamping and processing. Other details: Site 58.


Buck, C., 2005, Wheal Russell Mine, Devon: Archaeological Assessment, 19 (Report - Assessment). SDV336659.

Devon Great Consols Railway (Site 1) ran through Wheal Russell Mine to Morwellham with the raised track bed visible at SX44197062 is up to 2.5 meters high x c3 meters wide. Railway crossings (Sites 1.1 & 1.2) existed at SX44147075 & SX44057099 where the mine track from Wheal Impham (later South Bedford Mine) went down to Morwellham.

Sources / Further Reading

  • Monograph: Thomas, D. St. J.. 1981. A Regional History of Railways of Great Britain. A Regional History of Railways of Great Britain. 1. Unknown. 127-8.
  • Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1884. 105SW. 6".
  • Article in Serial: Pye, A. R. + Dixon, T.. 1989. The Arsenic Works at Devon Great Consols Mine, Tavistock. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 47. Paperback Volume. 79-111, Fig 1.
  • Report - Survey: Pye, A. R. + Dixon, T. Pye, A. R. + Dixon, t.. 1989. An Archaeological Survey of the Arsenic Works and an Inventory of the Other Historic Workings at Devon Great Consols Mine, Tavistock Hamlets. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. 89.08. A4 Stapled + Digital. 21.
  • Article in Serial: Goodridge, J. C.. 1964. Devon Great Consols, a Study of Victorian Mining Enterprise. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 96. 235-7, pl 20.
  • Monograph: Booker, F.. 1967. Industrial Archaeology of the Tamar Valley. Industrial Archaeology of the Tamar Valley. A5 Hardback. 156-7.
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. SX47SW29. SX47SW.
  • Report - Assessment: Buck, C.. 2002. Devon Great Consols: Archaeological Assessment. Cornwall Archaeological Unit Report. 2002R069. Digital + A4. 124,130-2 Figs 7,9,15,16,21,38.
  • Report - non-specific: Dyer, M. J. + Manning, P. T.. 1998. Objective 5B: Lower Tamar Valley Recreation and Land Management Iinitiative: Cultural Heritage Appraisal. Exeter Archaeology Report. 98.60. A4 Stapled + Digital. 37.
  • Report - Assessment: Buck, C.. 2003. Bedford United Mine: Archaeological Assessment. Cornwall Archaeological Unit Report. 2003RO43. A4 Stapled + Digital. 60-2, Figs 8,24.
  • Article in Serial: Richardson, P. H. G.. 1992. The Mines of Dartmoor and the Tamar Valley after 1913. British Mining. 44. A5 Paperback. 94-108, Fig 17.
  • Report - Assessment: Buck, C.. 2005. Wheal Russell Mine, Devon: Archaeological Assessment. Cornwall County Council Report. 2006R0004. A4 Stapled + Digital. 19.
  • Report - Assessment: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1991. An Assessment of Copper Mining in Devon (Copper, Brass, Tin). A4 Stapled + Digital. 1,18.
  • Monograph: Minchinton, W. E.. 1973. Industrial Archaeology in Devon. Industrial Archaeology in Devon. Paperback Volume. 32.

Associated Monuments

MDV72844Parent of: Devon Great Consols Railway, Inclined Plane (Monument)
MDV3862Part of: Devon Great Consolidated Mine, Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV3862Related to: Devon Great Consolidated Mine, Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV72849Related to: Boiler House and Chimney at Devon Great Consols Railway Incline, Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV3862Part of: Devon Great Consolidated Mine, Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV3862Related to: Devon Great Consolidated Mine, Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV72848Related to: Devon Great Consols Railway Incline, Building (Monument)
MDV72851Related to: Devon Great Consols Railway Incline, Coal Yard (Monument)
MDV72853Related to: Devon Great Consols Railway Incline, Spoil Heap (Monument)
MDV72852Related to: Devon Great Consols Railway Incline, Storage Buildings (Monument)
MDV72846Related to: Devon Great Consols Railway, Incline Winder Cottages (Monument)
MDV72766Related to: Devon Great Consols Railway, Quarry (Monument)
MDV72767Related to: Devon Great Consols Railway, Retaining Wall (Monument)
MDV71363Related to: Devon Great Consols, Incline Railway Line (Monument)
MDV3873Related to: Devon Great Consols, Wheal Anna Maria (Monument)
MDV42210Related to: Devon Great Consols, Wheal Frementor (Monument)
MDV3874Related to: Devon Great Consols, Wheal Josiah (Monument)
MDV80879Related to: Footbridge over Railway, Wheal Emma (Monument)
MDV3861Related to: MINE in the Parish of Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV72768Related to: Quarry by Devon Great Consols Railway, Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV77910Related to: Raised Tramway, New Shaft, Wheal Emma (Monument)
MDV72847Related to: Reservoir Pond at Devon Great Consols Railway Incline, Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV72845Related to: Reservoir Pond Shaft, Devon Great Consols Railway Incline, Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV76309Related to: Tunnel Portal at Morwellham Quay (Monument)
MDV76310Related to: Tunnel Under Cottages at Morwellham (Monument)
MDV71537Related to: Wheal Emma, Bridge Base (Monument)
MDV71420Related to: Wheal Josiah, Railway Lines (Monument)
MDV22886Related to: Wheal Russell Mine (Monument)
MDV72850Related to: Winder Engine House at Devon Great Consols Railway Incline, Gulworthy (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV1667 - An archaeological survey of the arsenic works and an inventory of the other historic workings at Devon Great Consols mine
  • EDV1668 - Bedford United Mine: Archaeological Assessment
  • EDV1669 - Objective 5b: Lower Tamar Valley recreation & land management initiative: cultural heritage appraisal
  • EDV1670 - Devon Great Consols: Archaeological Assessment
  • EDV4040 - Wheal Russell Mine, Devon: Archaeological Assessment

Date Last Edited:Jun 7 2018 8:51AM