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Historic England Research Records

The Henroost

Hob Uid: 1065002
Location :
Devon
West Devon
Dartmoor Forest
Grid Ref : SX6515107104
Summary : Earthworks of a very large Medieval and later opencast lode tin working, located on the northern knoll of Skir Hill. An archaeological field survey in 1996 found that the working follows a southwest to northeast section of lode and comprises two elements, separated by a causeway of unworked ground. The two elements are similar in character comprising very deep gullies with sheer, rock-cut sides up to 20 metres wide and 15 metres deep. There are also several additional though smaller gullies representing less developed sections of the working and the channelling of water and reservoirs. Near one of the reservoirs are the fragmentary remains of a building. Later working of the site are represented by Taylor's Shaft, part of Hexworthy mine, and in use during the 19th century.
More information : The Henroost centred SX 65107100 is a very large opencast lode tin working, located on the northern knoll of Skir Hill. The working follows a southwest to northeast section of lode the evidence for which extends between SX 64957091 and SX 65257114. The openwork consists of two elements, separated at SX 65117105 by a causeway of unworked ground. The two elements are similar in character comprising very deep gullies with sheer, rock-cut sides up to 20m wide and 15m deep. There are also several additional though smaller gullies representing less developed sections of the working and the channelling of water.

Water was supplied to the openwork via a leat (Monument HOB UID 1065004) which diverted the source of Hooten Wheals Stream, around the north-east side of Skir Hill, to be stored in two reservoirs on the south side of the working. The reservoir at SX 65057094 consists simply of a widening of the leat channel near its endpoint, creating a linear pond of 60m long by up to 10m wide. This in turn fed a second reservoir at SX 65087096. This is an exceptionally well-preserved crescentic example with retaining dam of up to 2m high. The sluice opening has its masonry lining surviving in place, consisting of two substantial granite slabs of 0.9m high. Below the sluice lies a system of well-defined channels which once diverted the water to various sections of the working. They are up to 3m wide by 2m deep. Two additional reservoirs are located to the north of the working at SX 64957095 and SX 65037104. The westernmost reservoir, consists of an acutely crescentic earth bank of up to 1m high and it is approximately 20m across. A shallow channel leads from the clearly-defined sluice opening and may be traced north-west to a second reservoir. This comprises a slightly crescentic bank of approximately 0.8m high and 25m long with a central sluice opening. Built into the exterior of the southern wing of the bank are some fragmentary remains of a building. The remains probably represent a fireplace and one end wall of a rectangular shelter.

Other episodes of exploitation on this lode are represented by an alignment of lodeback pits extending south-west from the head of the openwork, following the axis of the lode, and shaftheads located within the openwork. Taylor's Shaft, part of Hexworthy or Hooten Wheals Mine sited at SX 65097104 was worked during the nineteenth century (Richardson 1992, 29) but has since been capped, consisting today of a conical pit located within the floor of the openwork. A second shaft at SX 65157109, which could be older, remains uncapped and open but is fenced off for safety reasons. Several other deep conical pits associated with this tinwork at SX 65137108, SX 64997099 and SX 65027099 could also represent surface remains of underground exploitation.

Power for pumping was transmitted to Taylor's Shaft from a waterwheel sited 560m to the southeast, near Hooten Wheals via a system of flatrods. The surviving evidence for this is the narrow gully through which the rods were conveyed at SX 65457093. Beyond and to the north of the channel the course of the flatrods is continued by an alignment of mounds approximately 1m diameter by up to 0.5m high, representing the positions of posts which supported the flatrods over the final 320m. The position of the 'bob' pit is visible, attached to the south-east side of the shaft. A semi-circle of stone walling, which is probably the remains of a structure, stands just above and to the north-east of the shaft, built into the scarp. It has a diameter of 2m and stands 1m high and is likely to have been associated with the shaft working activity here.

Evidence of a possible adit, likely to be associated with Taylor's Shaft is sited at the foot of the openwork at SX 65257113, but consists only of a boggy hollow, leading into a wet, rush-filled channel, in the alluvium of the O Brook.

The site of what may be a second adit sited into the openwork at SX 65187112 is represented only by the course of a former tramway. The remains of the tramway consist of two parallel stone revetments forming a channel up to 2.3m wide in the base of the openwork gully. The walls are 1m high and the overall length of the channel is 23m. The tramway terminated 15m to the east of the channel where a flat topped spoil tip has been formed by dumping from the skips. A small stone structure is built into the southern revetment, measuring 4m by 2m with an entrance opening of 0.9m. The adit itself is not currently visible and may have been purposely filled in. (1-2)

Site depicted and partly described by Butler (1993, 133). (3)

The openworks are an area of rock-cut beamworks, lode back pits, mineshafts reservoirs and leats. (4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Newman P 10-JAN-1996 RCHME Field Investigation
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Source Number : 2
Source : Tin Working in the O Brook, Dartmoor, Devonshire
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Source Number : 3
Source : Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume 4 The Southeast
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Source Number : 4
Source : English Heritage Monuments Protection Programme Industrial Monuments Assessment, Step 3 Reports
Source details : Cranstone D. and Hedley I. June 1995, The Tin Industry Step 3 Site Assessments: Devon 35a
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Vol(s) : 59
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Source : O Brook Valley, SX 67 SE/ink survey
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Source : SX 67 SE/ink survey
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Medieval
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Extractive Pit, Reservoir, Beamwork, Mine Shaft, Adit, Tin Mine, Building
Evidence : Earthwork, Subterranean Feature, Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Post Medieval
Monument End Date : 1901
Monument Start Date : 1540
Monument Type : Extractive Pit, Beamwork, Reservoir, Mine Shaft, Tin Mine, Adit
Evidence : Earthwork, Subterranean Feature
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : C19
Monument End Date : 1900
Monument Start Date : 1801
Monument Type : Mine Shaft, Tin Mine, Wheel Pit, Spoil Heap, Leat, Transmission Rods, Adit, Building
Evidence : Earthwork, Subterranean Feature, Structure, Ruined Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : SX67SE16
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : SX67SE205
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : SX67SE420
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SX 67 SE 179
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1065004
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : DARTMOOR ROYAL FOREST PROJECT
Activity type : FIELD SURVEY
Start Date : 1993-06-01
End Date : 1996-06-01