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Historic England Research Records

Bearland Wood Iron Mine

Hob Uid: 1128076
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Luxborough
Grid Ref : SS9740035900
Summary : This disused mine was one of the Brendon Hills Iron Ore Company works. Work was started here in 1854 after successful trials. It was closed in the 1880s. The remains comprise two adits with attendant spoil heaps, and the site of a third adit; the remains of a building recently exposed by the Exmoor Mines Research Group and believed to be Lethbridge's smelting furnace of the 1840s; a chimney, flue and shaft constructed to ventilate one of the adits. All now lie within forestry plantations.Ore was transported from the mine to Langham Hill by an incline worked probably by a portable engine. No trace of the incline survives.
More information : See summary.

Mining remains in Bearland Wood are centred at SS 9745 3590 and comprise two adits with attendant spoil heaps, and the site of a third adit, the remains of a building recently exposed by the Exmoor Mines Research Group and believed to be Lethbridge's smelting furnace of the 1840s, and a chimney, flue and shaft constructed to ventilate one of the adits. All now lie within forestry plantations.
Bearland Wood No 1 adit is centred at SS 9735 3585. It comprises a densely overgrown opening into the hillside, now surrounded by a fence. Water still issues from the adit opening. Some 40 m to the north-east are the remains of a substantial spoil heap. It formerly extended towards the adit mouth but has been effaced here by a forestry track and by robbing for road ballast.
Bearland Wood No 2 adit is centred at SS 9745 3586. It now comprises a rock cut face 1.3 m wide, but silting and collapse has obscured the opening, although water still issues from it. Recently short lengths of stone walling have been built near the adit mouth and other ground works have been undertaken. These have confused the remains. The spoil heap from the adit lies to the north, in the form of an elongated mound 130 m long and 3.5 m high.
Near the southern tip of the spoil mound at SS 9744 3591 are the remains of a building currently being excavated by the Exmoor Mines Research Group, and believed to be the smelting house built by Thomas Lethbridge in the 1840s (Jones 1998, 8).
About 70 m to the south of No 2 adit is a spoil heap believed to be connected with an adit now lost, but whose site must have been in the vicinity of SS 9750 3572. The spoil heap lies beside a modern forestry track at SS 9749 3579. It comprises a very steep sided mound up to 3 m high, which emerges from beneath the embanked forestry track. Almost engulfed by the track embankment is a length of revetment walling probably constructed to prevent the mine spoil heap slipping into the stream which runs close by on its western side. The revetment is 6.8 m long and 0.6 m high.
A ventilation flue was built by Lethbridge to provide an adeqaute air supply to No 1 adit. It lies at SS 9735 3578 on the steep north facing valley side. The impressive stone chimney was built in 1860 and was connected to the adit by a shaft which is visible 10 m to the north. The chimney is in reasonably good condition although it appears to be in urgent need of repointing to prevent deterioration. It is fenced off and has recently been cleared of vegetation.
Iron ore was removed from the mine by an incline constructed to convey it to the mine at Langham Hill and thence onto the West Somerset Mineral Railway. No trace of this incline now survives.
Surveyed with EDM and GPS as part of the RCHME Exmoor Project. (5)

SS 97343577. Ventilation flue in Chargot Wood. Scheduled. (7)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 6" 1962
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Source Number : 2
Source : The West Somerset mineral railway and the story of the Brendon Hills iron mines
Source details : Sellick R, 1970, The West Somerset Mineral Railway
Page(s) : 28,40-41,61
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Bryant TC, 1980, The Hollow Hills of Brendon
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Source Number : 4
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Dennison E, SCPD 02-SEP-1986
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Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : R Wilson-North March 1999 RCHME Field Investigation
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Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : MH Jones 1998 `Notes on some of the Brendon Hills Iron Mines and the West Somerset Mineral Railway' unpub MSS
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Source Number : 7
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 28-Aug-01
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Source : Bearland Wood/ink survey
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Source : Bearland Wood/pencil survey
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Opened 1854
Monument End Date : 1854
Monument Start Date : 1854
Monument Type : Ironstone Mine
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Prob built in 1860
Monument End Date : 1860
Monument Start Date : 1860
Monument Type : Ventilation Shaft, Ventilation Chimney
Evidence : Structure
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Closed 1880s
Monument End Date : 1889
Monument Start Date : 1880
Monument Type : Ironstone Mine, Workers Cottage
Evidence : Earthwork, Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 33743
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 33034
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 93 NE 58
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
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