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HER Number:MDV4185
Name:Wheal Friendship Mine, Mary Tavy

Summary

Wheal Friendship Mine. Second only in magnitude to Devon Great Consols. Worked 1700-1925. Copper was the principal product until the 1870s when arsenic became the main revenue earner. There was also some late tin production. In 1880 the mine's name was changed to"Devon Friendship". Work ceased in 1900 resuming in 1907. In 1912 the mine was taken over by Wheal Jewell and Marytavy Mines Limited. Closed in 1925 with limited reworking in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Managed by John Taylor from 1799 (when he was only 19) until 1812, and later from 1817-1828.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 505 793
Map Sheet:SX57NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishMary Tavy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishMARY TAVY

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Structural remains of buildings and machinery, as well as earthwork and buried remains of features relating to the Wheal Friendship Mine, Mary Tavy, worked between 1700-1925

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57NW/82
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MINE (XVII to XX - 1700 AD to 1925 AD (Between))

Full description

de la Beche, H. T., 1839, Report on the Geology of Cornwall, Devon and West Somerset (Monograph). SDV337075.


Watson, J. Y., 1843, A compendium of British Mining (Monograph). SDV253743.


Henwood, W. J., 1843, Metalliferous Deposits (Monograph). SDV337406.


Unknown, 1843-1849, Mining Journal (Article in Serial). SDV337403.


Wood, 1850, Map of Dartmoor (Cartographic). SDV340908.


White, W., 1850/1968, White's Devon. History, Gazetteer and Directory of Devonshire (Monograph). SDV6497.


Williams, J., 1862, Cornwall and Devon Mining Directory (Monograph). SDV242424.


Spargo, T., 1864, Mines of Cornwall and Devon (Monograph). SDV242422.

Garage site located within zone of activity of Wheal Friendship copper mine which was active from the late 18th century until the 1880s and then as a source of arsenic until 1925. There are indications that the garage site lies within a triangle formed by three mine shafts which may signify underground workings.


Spargo, T., 1866, Mines of Cornwall and Devon (Monograph). SDV228100.


Hall, T. M., 1868, Mineral Localities of Devon, 334 (Article in Serial). SDV228163.

Hall says that zinc has also been found in Wheal Friendship and Wheal Betsy.


Hunt, R., 1887, British Mining (Monograph). SDV241726.


Collins, J. H., 1895, Mineralogy of Cornwall and Devon (Monograph). SDV242421.


Crossing, W., 1901, A Hundred Years on Dartmoor (Monograph). SDV350954.


Crossing, W., 1903, Present-day Life on Dartmoor (Article in Serial). SDV228152.


Crossing, W., 1912 (1965), Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor (Monograph). SDV320981.


Dewey, H., 1916, Special Reports on the Mineral Resources of Great Britain: Tungsten and Manganese Ores (Article in Serial). SDV228156.


Dewey, H., 1920, Special Reports on the Mineral Resources of Great Britain: Arsenic and Antimony Ores, 15 (Article in Serial). SDV354854.


Dewey, H., 1923, Special Reports on the Mineral Resources of Great Britain: Copper Ores of Devon and Cornwall (Article in Serial). SDV228159.


H. M. Stationary Office, 1929, Abandoned Mines (Monograph). SDV215700.


Royal Air Force, 1949, RAF 540/226, 5160 (Aerial Photograph). SDV271060.


Ramsden, J. V., 1952, Notes on the Mines of Devonshire, 95 figure 1 (Article in Serial). SDV60737.

Another part of the mine is known as Barkell's, and also Wheal Jewell and Wheal Betsy which also mined tin. Plans R 115 4473 - R 303 D, in the mining record office.


Ordish, H. G., 1962, Wheal Friendship flue, calciners and cooling chambers (Photograph). SDV276562.

Photographs show the great arsenic flue, the calciners and the count house.


Harris, H., 1968, Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor, 208 (Monograph). SDV149229.

Wheal Friendship Mine. In addition to the general features, the central area contains a dilapidated shed in which is an engine bed and near it the remains of dressing floors, the site of the stamps and a buddle. Also remaining, though uninhabited, are some cottages and the former mine captain's house and count house. On the opposite side of the road are the remains of the arsenic works, various buildings and the calciners in which the ore was roasted.


Minchinton, W. E., 1973, Industrial Archaeology in Devon, 25 (Monograph). SDV7016.

Mine. Wheal Friendship. Copper, arsenic, lead and iron were mined here for 130 years. It was a large mine, extending under the village street of Mary Tavy east to the Tavy valley and stretching nearly a mile westwards from the valley. In 1798 John Taylor took over the management and opened up the mine further with a new shaft in 1826. During its prime, the power for this mine was produced by 17 overshot water-wheels. In the 1880s, the mine was reopened by the Devon Arsenic Company and extensive new plant was installed; working continued until 31st July 1925. A considerable amount of the arsenic plant remains.


Hedges, C., 1975, The Tavistock Canal. A Short History, 30 (Monograph). SDV361772.


Burt, R. + Waite, P. + Burnley, R., 1984, Devon and Somerset Mines, 56-59 (Article in Serial). SDV347761.

Details of mine production, ownership, management and employment given from 1848-1913.


Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Interpretation). SDV319854.

Field to the east of Mary Tavy containing the spoil heaps of the disused Devon Friendship Mine. Includes shafts and large area of disturbed ground and spoil heaps to the west of the mine.


Greeves, T. A. P., 1991, An Assessment of Copper Mining in Devon (Copper, Brass, Tin), 14,16+2 (Report - Assessment). SDV60709.


Richardson, P. H. G., 1992, The Mines of Dartmoor and the Tamar Valley after 1913, 36-47, figure 5 (Article in Serial). SDV323598.

Wheal Friendship Mine. Second only in magnitude to Devon Great Consols. Worked 1700-1925. Copper was the principal product until the 1870s when arsenic became the main revenue earner. There was also some late tin production. The earliest workings were near the Tavistock-Okehampton road at Mary Tavy, extending to just beyond the Cholwell Brook. The western part of the mine was developed when arsenic and tin were sought. The principal pit in this latter phase was Bennett's Shaft. There was extensive use of water power with two principal leats (see related records) powering a succession of waterwheels. Arsenic works built in the 1870s and later extended.
In 1880 the mine's name was changed to "Devon Friendship". Work ceased in 1900 resuming in 1907. In 1912 the mine was taken over by Wheal Jewell and Marytavy Mines Limited. Closed in 1925 with limited reworking in the 1930s, 40s and 50s.


Hedley, L. and Cranstone, D., 1995, Monuments Protection Programme: The Copper Industry- Introduction to Step 3 Assessments, 18 (Report - non-specific). SDV357718.

4. Wheal Friendship Mine SX 506 792.
Lesser national importance.


Griffith, F. M., 1996, DAP/ABF, 9 (Aerial Photograph). SDV273204.


Munro, D., 1999, The Mary Tavy / Peter Tavy Excursion, 8-9 (Article in Serial). SDV224990.


Hamilton Jenkin, Dr. A. K., 2005, Mines of Devon, 87-90 (Monograph). SDV282410.

One of the main mines worked on the perimeter of Dartmoor, Wheal Friendship (also known as Devon Friendship) exploited two principle lodes - Sprague's or Main Lode on the north and Bennett's Lode to the south - with numerous side lodes and stringers forming an interlaced pattern between. Workings extended for nearly a mile westward from the Tavy, passing beneath the Tavistock-Okehampton road 0.25 miles north of Mary Tavy.
Worked on several previous occasions during the 18th century, it was taken over by John Taylor, a 19 year old civil engineer from Norfolk in 1798. in 1796 it had been recorded to have recently started to make a profit. 40-50 men were employed underground, with many women and boys preparing the ore at the surface. The sett had two shafts and the length of the lode was about 60 fathoms. The ore consisted of 'pyritical' copper.
In 1825 it was announced that 'rare mineral Tungstate of Lime (scheelite), rarely if ever before met in England' had been found which was also exploited. In 1838 the mine employed 453 people and was equipped with seven waterwheels, but by the following decade, Wheal Friendship and Wheal Betsy together possessed 17 wheels. Eight of these were used for pumping from a depth of nearly 200 fathoms, four others served for hoisting, the remainder were used for crushing and grinding. Water was supplied from two leats. The longest had its intake at the foot of Ger Tor near Tavy Cleave and was brought across the moors first to Wheal Jewell, then to Wheal Betsy and then southward to Wheal Friendship. A shorter leat, taken off the river at Hill Bridge, flowed direct to the eastern part of the Friendship sett.
There was also an 80 inch cylinder beam engine (to safeguard against the failure of the leats in severe drought or frost).
Among the eleven shafts on the Friendship main lode, Taylor's was the deepest, sunk vertically to 90 fathoms below adit and then on the underlie to the 220 fathom level. Additionally, there were also two inclined planes, each equipped with a single tramway.
After 1870 the production of copper ore showed a rapid decline and by 1875 had been almost wholly supplanted by arsenic and pyrite and the mine was worked for these ores until 1924. In 1912 the mine was taken over by a company known as the Wheal Jewell and Marytavy Mines. By this time the old water-wheels had been abandoned in favour of Pelton wheels. This latest period of work concentrated on treating the tin ore of Wheal Jewell, activity at Wheal Friendship being confined to picking over the dumps for tin and arsenic.


Southwest Archaeology, 2007, Blackdown Garage Site, Mary Tavy, Devon (Report - Assessment). SDV358122.


Waterhouse, R., 2017, The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology, 9 (Monograph). SDV361789.

John Taylor (1779-1843), who later rose to become one of Britain’s foremost mining engineers and mine managers managed Wheal Friendship from 1799 (when he was only 19) until 1812, and later from 1817-1828. The mine rapidly went from a failing enterprise to an extremely successful one. He became known as an honest and effective manager, and innovator. His legacy lay in training and nurturing talented mining captains and then deploying them in places best suited to their temperament and skills.

Sources / Further Reading

  • Monograph: Harris, H.. 1968. Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor. Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor. A5 Hardback. 208.
  • Monograph: H. M. Stationary Office. 1929. Abandoned Mines. Abandoned Mines. Unknown.
  • Article in Serial: Munro, D.. 1999. The Mary Tavy / Peter Tavy Excursion. Dartmoor Tin Working Research Group Newsletter. 17. Leaflet. 8-9.
  • Monograph: Spargo, T.. 1866. Mines of Cornwall and Devon. Unknown.
  • Article in Serial: Crossing, W.. 1903. Present-day Life on Dartmoor. Western Morning News. Unknown.
  • Article in Serial: Dewey, H.. 1916. Special Reports on the Mineral Resources of Great Britain: Tungsten and Manganese Ores. Memoirs of the Geological Survey. 1. Unknown.
  • Article in Serial: Dewey, H.. 1923. Special Reports on the Mineral Resources of Great Britain: Copper Ores of Devon and Cornwall. Memoirs of the Geological Survey. 27. Unknown.
  • Article in Serial: Hall, T. M.. 1868. Mineral Localities of Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 2. Unknown. 334.
  • Monograph: Hunt, R.. 1887. British Mining. British Mining. Unknown.
  • Monograph: Collins, J. H.. 1895. Mineralogy of Cornwall and Devon. Mineralogy of Cornwall and Devon. Unknown.
  • Monograph: Spargo, T.. 1864. Mines of Cornwall and Devon. Mines of Cornwall and Devon. Unknown.
  • Monograph: Williams, J.. 1862. Cornwall and Devon Mining Directory. Cornwall and Devon Mining Directory. Unknown.
  • Monograph: Watson, J. Y.. 1843. A compendium of British Mining. A compendium of British Mining. Unknown.
  • Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1949. RAF 540/226. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Unknown. 5160.
  • Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1996. DAP/ABF. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 9.
  • Photograph: Ordish, H. G.. 1962. Wheal Friendship flue, calciners and cooling chambers. Photocopy.
  • Monograph: Hamilton Jenkin, Dr. A. K.. 2005. Mines of Devon. Mines of Devon. Paperback Volume. 87-90.
  • Interpretation: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
  • Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1912 (1965). Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Hardback Volume.
  • Article in Serial: Richardson, P. H. G.. 1992. The Mines of Dartmoor and the Tamar Valley after 1913. British Mining. 44. A5 Paperback. 36-47, figure 5.
  • Monograph: de la Beche, H. T.. 1839. Report on the Geology of Cornwall, Devon and West Somerset. Report on the Geology of Cornwall, Devon and West Somerset. Unknown.
  • Article in Serial: Unknown. 1843-1849. Mining Journal. Mining Journal. Unknown.
  • Monograph: Henwood, W. J.. 1843. Metalliferous Deposits. Metalliferous Deposits. Unknown.
  • Cartographic: Wood. 1850. Map of Dartmoor. Unknown.
  • Article in Serial: Burt, R. + Waite, P. + Burnley, R.. 1984. Devon and Somerset Mines. The Mineral Statistics of the United Kingdom. Paperback Volume. 56-59.
  • Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1901. A Hundred Years on Dartmoor. A Hundred Years on Dartmoor. Unknown.
  • Article in Serial: Dewey, H.. 1920. Special Reports on the Mineral Resources of Great Britain: Arsenic and Antimony Ores. Memoirs of the Geological Survey. XV. Photocopy. 15.
  • Report - non-specific: Hedley, L. and Cranstone, D.. 1995. Monuments Protection Programme: The Copper Industry- Introduction to Step 3 Assessments. English Heritage. A4 Bound. 18.
  • Report - Assessment: Southwest Archaeology. 2007. Blackdown Garage Site, Mary Tavy, Devon. Southwest Archaeology Report. 070905. A4 Stapled + Digital.
  • Monograph: Hedges, C.. 1975. The Tavistock Canal. A Short History. The Tavistock Canal. A5 Paperback. 30.
  • Monograph: Waterhouse, R.. 2017. The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology. The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology. Paperback Volume. 9.
  • Report - Assessment: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1991. An Assessment of Copper Mining in Devon (Copper, Brass, Tin). A4 Stapled + Digital. 14,16+2.
  • Article in Serial: Ramsden, J. V.. 1952. Notes on the Mines of Devonshire. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 84. A5 Hardback. 95 figure 1.
  • Monograph: White, W.. 1850/1968. White's Devon. History, Gazetteer and Directory of Devonshire. white's Devon. History, Gazetteer and Directory of Devonshire. Hardback Volume.
  • Monograph: Minchinton, W. E.. 1973. Industrial Archaeology in Devon. Industrial Archaeology in Devon. Paperback Volume. 25.

Associated Monuments

MDV56128Parent of: Arsenic works at Wheal Friendship Mine (Monument)
MDV56134Parent of: Bennett's Shaft, Wheal Friendship Mine (Monument)
MDV56132Parent of: Brenton's Shaft, Wheal Friendship Mine (Monument)
MDV56130Parent of: Brenton's Stack, Wheal Friendship Mine (Monument)
MDV56125Parent of: Calciners at Wheal Friendship Mine (Monument)
MDV26305Parent of: Caroline shaft, Wheal Friendship Mine (Monument)
MDV56136Parent of: Courtice's Shaft, Wheal Friendship (Monument)
MDV56148Parent of: Dressing floor at Wheal Friendship Mine (Monument)
MDV56144Parent of: Flatrod gully to Bennett's Shaft, Wheal Friendship Mine (Monument)
MDV56126Parent of: Flue at Wheal Friendship Mine (Monument)
MDV56127Parent of: Furnace at Wheal Friendship Mine (Monument)
MDV56129Parent of: Glebe Cottage; former Counthouse and Mine Captain's House for Devon Friendship Mine (Building)
MDV3184Parent of: Horndon, Mary Tavy (Monument)
MDV26306Parent of: Lanyon's Shaft, Wheal Friendship Mine (Monument)
MDV56135Parent of: Mine shaft at Wheal Friendship Mine (Monument)
MDV56140Parent of: Mine shaft at Wheal Friendship Mine (Monument)
MDV56149Parent of: Mine shaft north of Ley Farm, Mary Tavy (Monument)
MDV56137Parent of: Mine shaft north of the Counting House, Wheal Friendship Mine (Monument)
MDV68396Parent of: Mine shaft, Wheal Friendship Mine (Monument)
MDV41456Parent of: Mine shafts, Wheal Friendship Mine (Monument)
MDV56133Parent of: Old Sump Shaft, Wheal Friendship Mine (Monument)
MDV56143Parent of: Rock dumps at Wheal Friendship Mine (Monument)
MDV56138Parent of: Smithy at Wheal Friendship Mine, Mary Tavy (Monument)
MDV56139Parent of: Stamping mill at Wheal Friendship Mine (Monument)
MDV56131Parent of: Stephen's Shaft, Wheal Friendship Mine (Monument)
MDV104355Parent of: Taylor's Shaft, Wheal Friendship Mine, Mary Tavy (Monument)
MDV56145Parent of: Tramway at Wheal Friendship Mine (Monument)
MDV56142Parent of: Water wheel at Wheal Friendship mine, Mary Tavy (Monument)
MDV26315Parent of: Wheal Hope Shaft, Mary Tavy (Monument)
MDV26304Parent of: William's Shaft, Wheal Friendship Mine (Monument)
MDV114656Related to: Brookside, Mary Tavy (Building)
MDV56147Related to: Dressing floor at Wheal Friendship Mine (Monument)
MDV26314Related to: Hill Bridge Leat, Mary Tavy (Monument)
MDV109613Related to: Mine leats off Cholwich Brook north of Holditch, Mary Tavy (Monument)
MDV26308Related to: Mine shafts to the east of Wheal Friendship Mine (Monument)
MDV68397Related to: Mine shafts, Wheal Friendship Mine (Monument)
MDV34226Related to: Miner's Dry, Wheal Friendship Mine (Building)
MDV5435Related to: Morwellham Quay (Building)
MDV4190Related to: South Devon United Mine (Monument)
MDV5570Related to: The Reddaford Leat (Monument)
MDV56141Related to: Tin mill at Wheal Friendship Mine (Monument)
MDV3185Related to: Wheal Betsy Mine (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Sep 26 2018 11:46AM