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Historic England Research Records

Hangley Cleave Mine

Hob Uid: 909533
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Exmoor
Grid Ref : SS7449136605
Summary : The remains of post medieval (19th century) iron workings are visible at Hangley Cleave, Exmoor. Work began here around 1854, but was abandoned in 1857 after the mine failed to provide enough ore to be profitable. The remains of spoil heaps, open works, adits and shafts are visible as grass-covered features along with old tram rails.
More information : For details see county SMR (1).

SS 74433649. Remains of iron working at Hangley Cleave.

Hangley Cleave (3) or Hangley Cleeve (4) was one of the places where older workings were evident (4) and by 1854, by means of trenches, holes and cuts into hillsides, the existence of deposits of ore in this area was proved to Frederic Knight's satisfaction. The surface indications of a vein running roughly east/west were of a very favourable character. Operations, began by the Dowlais Iron Company of Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, about March 1856, were by 'patching' or open work along the vein which on the surface was about 4.5m wide (5). Westward it proved to be nearly 2m thick, but eastward it quickly faded out. To drain the vein a drift was begun (about 115m to the north at SS 74443661) but when it struck the vein at a depth of 12m it had narrowed to under 2m. A shaft was sunk at this point (SS 74433649) and 1200 tons of rich brown hematite was raised at a cost of £700 before the vein petered out. Operations were abandoned in August 1857.

The remains of the workings are still clearly evident about 460m above OD on a gentle rough grass-covered north-facing slope to the north of the road between Two Barrows and Kinsford Gate. The remains, all grass-covered and all with associated spoil heaps, consist of the open worked east/west vein, the north/south adit and drift, together with another adit or drift some 200m due east of the main shaft (about SS 74613646). The actual adit entrances and shaft have been blocked or caved in so it is not clear where their exact entrances were. Fragments of old tram rails are laid on the surface near to the shaft. It is not clear which are the earlier workings referred to.

No survey action has been taken as most of the site is depicted, annotated Iron Mine (Disused), on the 1:2500 Ordnance Survey map of 1890 (3), but it does require a large scale survey at a future date. (2-5)

Surveyed at 1:1000 scale, February 1999. (6-8)

The remains of the iron workings at Hangley Cleave, consisting of openworks and associated spoil heaps, are clearly visible on several aerial photographs of the area. A complex drainage system can also be seen surrounding the working area (see NMR UID 1484216), however there is no indication of tramlines as described above. It is possible that the linear drainage system has been misinterpreted as tramlines. (9).

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Somerset CC SMR, 29-SEP-1986.
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Source Number : 2
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Sainsbury, IS 12-Oct-1995 RCHME Field Investigation
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Source Number : 3
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Devon 11:10 1890
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Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Orwin, C.S. 1929 "The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest" London, Oxford University Press page(s) 121-147 map fp 132
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Source Number : 5
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Burton, R.A. 1989 "The Heritage of Exmoor" Maslands Ltd, Tiverton page(s) 147
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Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : H Riley, R Wilson-North & E Jamieson 17 February 1999 RCHME Field Investigation
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Source Number : 7
Source : Hangley Cleave Iron Mine/ink survey
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Source Number : 8
Source : Hangley Cleave Iron Mine/pencil survey
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Source Number : 9
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR OS/96559 11-12 07-MAY-1996
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Post Medieval
Monument End Date : 1901
Monument Start Date : 1540
Monument Type : Ironstone Mine, Spoil Heap, Extractive Pit
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 33017
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : HER Number (Exmoor National Park)
External Cross Reference Number : MSO7002
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 1269352
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 73 NW 28
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1484216
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: WEST EXMOOR PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SS 73 NW 28
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1995-10-12
End Date : 1995-10-12
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2007-04-01
End Date : 2009-07-01